Day of Empowerment
We had the honor of sponsoring an event this past weekend hosted by Easter Seals. Two of our employees participated as volunteers for the Women’s Day of Empowerment. Check out Megan Noel’s experience!
On Saturday, July 25th, 2015 I was granted the opportunity to participate in an event called Women’s Day of Empowerment hosted by Easter Seals of Central Pennsylvania. Easter Seals provides programs and services to ensure that people with disabilities or other special needs and their families have equal opportunities to live, learn, work and play in their communities. When I first heard about the event and was asked to participate, I was hesitant. I accepted with reservations and now that the event is over, I am so happy that I did.
The event consisted of 17 protégés and 17 mentors; each mentor was partnered with a protégé. The mentors were businesswomen within the community and the protégés were young women with disabilities who wanted to become more comfortable with professional situations. Activities were prepared that required the protégés to interact with others, prepare a 30-second elevator speech, practice the application process, and learn about business lunch etiquette.
The young women arrived in their business attire and we mingled, talking and getting to know each other better. We then moved to tables of two protégés and two mentors where we performed the activities. The young women were eager and excited with every new activity and it was moving to watch these young girls take so much pride in completing them. Many of the women were reserved at the beginning but opened up quickly as they felt more and more comfortable.
During my experience, I thought about these women, their families and the people who encountered them each day. I thought about the way I looked at people with disabilities and the way I saw other people observe them. I realized that we focus so much on what they cannot do, that we forget what it is that they can do. These women stood up in front of the group to give their speeches with more courage and confidence than many of the women I see in my profession today. They were passionate and excited as they spoke about their dreams and aspirations, two emotions so many professionals lack in today’s business world.
As I left the event, I reflected; we may have provided these women with a confidence boost and a little more knowledge on how to conduct yourself in a professional setting, but what they provided us was invaluable. These women truly believe they can accomplish anything and do not let obstacles stand in their way. They are strong and beautiful and see everything as an opportunity. Their enthusiasm for life, even the small things, is truly inspiring and something that we should all attempt to emulate in our own lives. I went into this event thinking these women would take away so much from me as a business professional, but I truly feel I took away so much more. The event was an immense success and I look forward to participating next year with a renewed perspective.
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