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

Panelists share stories on overcoming diversity

By Aleecia Scott/ reporter

Lillie Biggins

Faculty, staff and students gathered March 4 on South Campus to celebrate the Triesha Light Annual Women’s Symposium with a panel discussion and keynote speaker Lillie Biggins focused on motivation and overcoming adversity.

Kristen Clay, TCC panelist, discussed how she interpreted history and what it signifies for her.

“My mother made history more than just facts,” she said. “It was the human story. That is what motivates me.”

Theresa Cortez, senior elder of Potter’s House in Fort Worth, said confidence can play an important role in the face of adversity.

“People will try to envision you the way they think you should be envisioned,” she said. “Confidence from within helped me overcome shyness, being reserved and many other social barriers. I knew only I could define who I was and who I presented myself to be.”

During the Triesha Light Annual Women’s Symposium March 4 on South Campus, attendees take an opportunity to mingle with panelists.
Scott Hughes/The Collegian

Potter’s House assistant minister Fern Simpson Jinkins described an assertive woman in the workplace.

“Growing up, I was always pretty aggressive,” she said. “When I worked at a dealership among men, I was determined to be the best I could be. Later on, I was top saleswoman for three years. There is a difference between assertive and aggressive.”

As president of Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital, Biggins said she hoped her keynote address would inform, inspire and unite women through her own accomplishments and experiences.

“Every day, we (women) are that anchor. We are that glue that holds things together,” she said. “That is why I love speaking at women-orientated seminars. I love the role that women play. I was the first woman president at that hospital. I was also the first woman to become an officer there. I have been many firsts, even being inducted into the [Texas] Women’s Hall of Fame.”

Biggins also further encouraged students to search for a profession that will utilize their passion and help others in the process.

“Find your calling, decide what you want to do,” she said. “I often mentor people, and I wonder how can I help utilize that purpose. In doing that, you can focus your energy on doing what you desire.”

South history instructor Lindsey Light, who chairs the South Women’s History Month committee, enjoyed the event.

“I found that the panel section of the event was the liveliest as well as largely diversified between the different speakers,” she said. “It also helped that I was given new insight into the different types of TCC students, such as the older women going back into school after many years and how daunting that can be at first.”

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