The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Women making difference in SE Campus seminar

By Aisha banafe/reporter

Even with many responsibilities, women can be successful role models at home and at work, speakers told SE students March 28.

In Women Making a Difference, Ruthann Geer, SE government instructor, and Constance Siegel, TCC student, described ways women have influenced and can influence others.

Siegel said women do not have to work in the corporate world to influence others. Women can start new businesses, help someone by arranging for their shelter, volunteer and help the community by bringing women together to determine what can be done better.

They examine “what is missing and can we fill the needs,” she said.

Married with children, Siegel considers herself a life coach and devotes her time to working with women in transition through divorce, low income or need for support.

Siegel sponsors an online support group, where she has helped numerous women to stand on their feet by helping them find work, shelter and other necessities such as dental care. Women post a need, and fellow members offer advice for finding assistance.

The group started as a craft club where women could share their ideas, emotions and other activities while working on craft projects.

“Many people are independent,” she said. “They are not close to their family members where they can share things with one another because they cannot find a job in the same hometown. That’s why I started to do a small craft club in my community that impacts a lot of women.”

Geer shared her story about being a woman active in politics. She said she has seen poverty in this country, and many were women who cannot afford healthy food or shelter to protect themselves and their children.

“The fast lane to poverty for women is this — interrupt your education, marry, have children, never complete your education, divorce (often not the choice of the female), become a single female head of household with no marketable skills and no degree, and try to collect child support in the broken system in Texas,” she said. “In the 20-plus years I have spent working in affordable housing, this was the path to poverty for nearly every woman with whom I worked.”

A government that does not think it is important to eliminate this destruction is causing the entire problem, Geer said. Women in poverty include prostitutes, divorcées and pregnant teenagers who do not have parental support, but they do not see the other side that causes them to be in that position.

Geer said she chose to teach government to educate young men and women about fighting for rights and justice to help those most in need.

Siegel said anyone can help.

“We all have something to offer,” she said. “Find what you can do or offer to someone else. Let them hear your voice.”

Geer and Siegel both encouraged the audience to be part of a strong community where women can help each other.

“We all know when some action is wrong or feels wrong,” Geer said. “If your gut is telling you that something is not right, then you know it is wrong and your responsibility to do what is right.”

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