Watch Holly's Speaker Reel
Speaking to groups of all sizes and backgrounds, Holly delivers a unique perspective to the poverty cycle in America, motivating us to reconsider our understanding of others’ struggles and take an active role in seeking solutions. Book Holly for your next conference today!
Cinder Girl sits in the rarest class of memoir—a towering literary triumph which melds searing and tragic personal history with an incredible story of resilience, hope, and civic success.
Growing up on welfare, food stamps, and Greyhound buses, Holly Thompson Rehder quit school at fifteen to help take care of her mother and younger sister after a devastating car accident. Getting married and pregnant soon thereafter, Holly decided that the life she had been born into was not what she intended to give her child.
But unlike others who wind up mired in a lifetime of poverty, dysfunction, and despair, Holly used her resourcefulness, faith, and sheer stubborn American grit to fight her way out of the gutter.
Two decades later she was a successful businesswoman. And today, she is a rising political star who serves as an inspiration to young women across the state of Missouri—and indeed, the entire nation—all while never forgetting where she came from.
As a rare lawmaker who speaks candidly from raw personal experience, in Cinder Girl, Rehder rises above standard political prose to provide an unvarnished look inside the worst of American poverty––those living in the margins. Rehder challenges us to recall the plight of those far less fortunate, who struggle without the opportunities most of us take for granted.
About Holly Thompson Rehder
State Senator Holly Thompson Rehder is a known voice in the fight against opioid addiction and the stigma of mental illness. Holly brings a unique perspective to the poverty cycle in America. A conservative Republican who speaks candidly from personal experience as someone who lived it as a child, got out as a teen, only to see her daughter caught in it, is an informative and thought-provoking anomaly.
Praise for Cinder Girl
August 30, 2023
National Alliance for Drug Endangered Children
Kansas City, MO
October 10 – 12, 2023
Council of State Governments: The Opioid Masterclass
Kansas City, MO
October 18, 2023
Council of State Governments: CALS
November 13, 2023
Missouri’s 2023 Substance Use Prevention Conference