GMA Co-Anchor Robin Roberts Spoke at the Fresno Women's Conference

September 15, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
It was a sell-out for the 22nd Annual Central California Women's Conference in Downtown Fresno. 35-hundred women from all over the Valley spent the day making an investment, in themselves. 22 national, regional and local speakers gave Valley women tips to live by, but Tuesday's keynote speaker, Robin Roberts, of ABC's Good Morning America, shared from her heart. Robin Roberts is known for her down to earth style in the cut throat world of early morning news. But the 48 year old Roberts has worked her way up the ranks in the broadcasting world with humble beginnings in radio and TV on the gulf coast of Mississippi ... where she grew up. Eventually Roberts landed a spot on ESPN's Sports Center ... the first female African American sports anchor.

Roberts says, "I'm a strong woman who is abundantly blessed ... but also grateful for the circumstances that I'm in."

Roberts believes proximity is power, which means putting yourself in position for good things to happen. It's something she learned on the basketball court growing up, but she also has a strong faith. Each morning, she says, she positions herself for prayer.

Roberts said, "I'm a very spiritual person and I begin my day with a prayer of protection: 'The light of God surrounds me, the love of God enfolds me, the power of God protects me, the presence of God watches over me and wherever I am God is."

It is that faith in God that has kept Roberts strong through adversity. The death of her father and the destruction of hurricane Katrina in her hometown "Pass Christian" in 2005. In 2007, it was a diagnosis of breast cancer. She says there is no detectable cancer in her body ... but she cannot say she is cancer free.

Roberts said, "Because I'm triple negative, there's no more chemotherapy I qualify for. So it's about changing my diet, it's about getting rest, and let's not minimize stress ... stress has been shown more and more to be a contributor to cancer."

Roberts is not shy about showing emotion. And it's that genuine passion that impresses her audience.

One participant, Brianna Times said, "I thought she was amazing ... very inspirational ... very funny."

Another participant, Erika Whitney said, "Robin Roberts, ah, she's the reason I'm here today ... and she spoke not from her notes ... but from the heart. It was great ... it was really good."

Roberts lives by the motto "when you find walls in front of you ... it's an opportunity to scale new heights." One of those new heights is anchoring Good Morning America without Diane Sawyer. Sawyer is slated to take Charlie Gibson's place on World News Tonight later this year.

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