When Kamala Harris was growing up in Berkeley, California, her mother — an Indian-born biologist and breast cancer researcher — instilled in her a simple message.
"Don't sit around and complain about things; do something."
That ethos guided her through her education at a newly desegregated primary school, and through degrees in economics, political science and law.
It guided her into a legal career where she was appointed District Attorney of San Francisco then Attorney General of California — the first woman in the history of those positions.
It guided her into the United States Senate in 2017, and on to a bid for the Democratic presidential nomination just a year later.
And now, that ethos will guide Kamala Harris in her role as the Vice President of the United States of America.
After a year in which the world's attention has been myopically held by a tousle between two men, we must not underestimate what Vice President-Elect Harris' victory means.
Not only will she be the first woman to hold the office since it was established 231 years ago, she will be the first Black person and the first South Asian American.
At last, girls — and in particular, girls of colour — will be able to look to the West Wing of the White House and see themselves.
At the helm of a global superpower, will sit a woman, a daughter of Indian and Jamaican immigrants, an advocate who stood up for marginalised Americans and unflinchingly called out her outgoing President's history of predation, misogyny and xenophobia.