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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Symposium offers choices for community women

Dr. Elva Concha LeBlanc  Photo by Johnathan Deaton-Lee/The Collegian
Dr. Elva Concha LeBlanc Photo by Johnathan Deaton-Lee/The Collegian

By Sharon Murra-Kapon/south news editor

More than 160 people arrived on South Campus March 31 for insight, motivation and financial and leadership advice.

Global Dialogues:
 Building Sisterhood, sponsored by Women In New Roles programs on South, NE and NW campuses, provided a series of events including lectures, exhibits and a scholarship auction.

Dr. Elva Concha LeBlanc  Photo by Johnathan Deaton-Lee/The Collegian
Dr. Elva Concha LeBlanc Photo by Johnathan Deaton-Lee/The Collegian

Dr. Elva Concha LeBlanc’s parents, immigrants from Mexico, inspired her to excel in everything she did, encouraged her education and showed her effective leadership by example.

The NW Campus president said the 21st century learner is one who asks appropriate questions, understands the meaning and characteristics of leadership, develops emotional intelligence and is a positive influence.

She said people must learn improved methods constantly because this new century requires it.

“ The meaning of leadership is emotional intelligence, a cluster of skills and the ability to learn that results in wise behavior,” she said.

Social awareness, empathy and decision making are all linked to the meaning of leadership, LeBlanc said.
“ It is important that you know yourself,” she said.

“ I guarantee you people around you know. While you are working on your strengths, they will work on your weaknesses.”

LeBlanc said leaders are learners and where there is a leader, there is a team. For a successful team, team members must have the skills a leader does not have.

Moreover, developing relationships is critical, LeBlanc said. Leaders develop intensive external and internal relationships, a network where they can exchange new ideas.

“ With challenges come opportunities and creativity,” she said.

A person must decide to become a leader, and then focus on influence rather than control, because one can have control only over herself. Waiting for the perfect time to come will only delay one’s dreams, LeBlanc said. A person must make the opportunity happen.

“ The only barrier that you have is what you set for yourself,” she said.

Mary Lynn Seebeck  Photo by Johnathan Deaton-Lee/The Collegian
Mary Lynn Seebeck Photo by Johnathan Deaton-Lee/The Collegian

Mary Lynn Seebeck, who grew up on a farm in the early ’40s, described saving money as a lifestyle.

The author of American Dream Women: Insuring Financial Wealth for Women said her grandmother taught them the pin-money saving lifestyle. Pin money refers tomoney that a one sits aside for special or unexpected purchases. Women saved throughout the year to shop twice a year. The saving-money mind-set lasted until the ’50s.

During the ’60s and ’70s, credit cards began and so did major debt issues and stress levels, the author said. Generations replaced saving with spending.

In the ’80s, parents did all they could to provide an education for their children, but that generation’s expenses exceed its income.

“ This generation [the ’80s decade] lost the value of pin-money bank saving,” she said. “They want it all now.”

Seebeck described three types of women: the ones who do not know they do not know and are waiting for someone to lead them; the ones who know they do not know and are reading books, taking courses, becoming knowledgeable; and American dream women, who are financially responsible, independent and comfortable managing their wealth.

Seebeck said women must realize men are not always going to take care of finances. The United States has an average of 56 percent widowhood and a 29 percent divorce rate.

Not only are widowhood and divorce important factors to consider, but disasters also can happen along they way, so Seebeck encourages people to take advantage of 401k and 403B plans offered at the workplace.

She asked audience members what their response would be if given three months to live and if three months would give them enough time to put finances in order.

Seebeck encourages men and women to start planning now by writing down their dreams, gathering their paperwork, documenting it and writing a love note to whomever they would leave behind.

Global Dialogues: Building Sisterhood Symposium 

After a light breakfast, provided by WINR and Glenda Nichols, chair of behavioral sciences department on South Campus, participants were entertained.

Vocal students from TCC and the Carla White studio sang “Travelers on a Star,” accompanied by Echo Wilson, faculty pianist. Student Laveria Bogan performed “Phenomenal Woman” by Maya Angelou.
More than 30 organizations made the exhibits area an opportunity for the attendees to learn about service, educational and entrepreneurial opportunities.

Non-profit organizations and volunteer agencies included the Hispanic Women’s Network of Texas, Cook Children’s volunteer services, SafeHaven of Tarrant County and River Legacy Living Science Center.

Companies such as Mary Kay Cosmetics, Tupperware and Arbonne International (health and beauty) had display tables hosted by women, some single mothers, who had created their own businesses.

Local speakers Mary Lynn Seebeck, author of American Dream American Dream Women: Insuring Financial Wealth for Women, and Dr. Elva Concha LeBlanc, NW Campus president, shared their experiences.

Lila McIntire, a former WINR student, auctioned off wine baskets, floral arrangements, day spa visits, clothing and other items, raising $1,050 for the new WINR scholarship.

Women in New Roles, a program for women in transition, sponsors the symposium each year.

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