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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 gives women networking opportunities

Students and community members check out more than 30 vendors ranging from services to products during Making A Better U, the 12th annual Women’s Symposium March 22 on South Campus.  Photos by Haylie Jones/The Collegian
Students and community members check out more than 30 vendors ranging from services to products during Making A Better U, the 12th annual Women’s Symposium March 22 on South Campus.
Photos by Haylie Jones/The Collegian

By Mollie Pollard/reporter

Maybe it’s the fear of succeeding that’s greater than the fear of failing in today’s society, a South Campus student said in reaction to the March 22 Women’s Symposium.

Erin Taylor was among the students and community members at the 12th annual South Campus event. Making a Better U offered various vendors, networking opportunities and speakers discussing how changes in the 21st century are affecting spiritual, social, economic and business powers.

“The world has changed. Look at our communication skills as a whole,” Taylor said. “What happened to the face-to-face conversations, those hand-written letters that meant much more than a quick text that could get easily misinterpreted?”

Not only has society’s communication skills transformed, it has turned for the worse, Taylor said. Civilization has lost touch with individual spirits. The determination to set, follow and accomplish goals has been weakened, she said. To be successful in life, an individual has to want to find the inner self and distinguish where he/she wants to go from there.

Keynote speaker Nikki Chriesman, president of the L. Clifford Davis Legal Association, talks with attorney and South adjunct instructor Faye Watson and South president Peter Jordan during a networking break.
Keynote speaker Nikki Chriesman, president of the L. Clifford Davis Legal Association, talks with attorney and South adjunct instructor Faye Watson and South president Peter Jordan during a networking break.

A panel discussion, moderated by Anita Jones, CEO of AJConsulting, opened the symposium. Some women have embellished the attitude of self-doubt, the panel determined. The things that used to be masculated should now be more influential, but it is being accomplished very gently though, they said. For example, in the past, becoming a biologist was disregarded as a career choice for women. Now, women biologists exist, but women are still being outnumbered, Jones said.

“Women have room to become even more successful,” she said. “Maybe not knowing where to find the resources is what’s got people at a halt.”

Unlimited resources can help an individual get to where they want to go, but they are not fully being taken advantage of, the panel said. Sometimes people’s pride gets the best of them. Panelists reminded students it’s OK to ask for help. Sometimes asking for help is the only way to find the answer.

NW student Carolyn Maradiaga, who attended the event, said sometimes it is hard to find help.

“People are selfish, especially when they are trying to move up toward a body of success,” she said. “It feels like it just gets harder and harder to find someone who is willing to give their full-on attention to and advise them on where to go from there.”

Panelist Barbara Becker, the University of Texas at Arlington’s School of Urban and Public Affairs dean, said if answers are not being found and direction is not being uplifted, the resources that person is using are no good. She said students should start searching deeper for helpful, informative people until the resource is found and success is granted.

Maradiaga said the world needs to start coming together to help each other out. She said the nation as a whole needs empathy and the opportunity to grow.

“We are all in this together,” she said. “Success can be easier than we think.”

Various vendors offer everything from lanyards to scents, clothing, jewelry and crafts during the symposium.
Various vendors offer everything from lanyards to scents, clothing, jewelry and crafts during the symposium.

Taylor believes education is prime, no matter how success is measured. To be educated doesn’t always have to mean getting a college degree, she said. It could mean more than that, like being a stay-at-home mom who wants to better her family.
“Our learning abilities are always growing,” she said. “It doesn’t have to shut off. Someone could never be too smart.”

In her keynote presentation, Nikki L. Chriesman, president of the L. Clifford Davis Legal Association, spoke about the impact of 21st century legal issues. She said people need to educate themselves on common law versus formal marriages, paternity and child support, consumer debts, employment issues and background checks.

NE student Emily Burton was pleased with the information she gathered from the symposium.

“I wish I would have been educated on these areas before,” she said. “Maybe I would have made a different decision on some things in my life. But for the future, I am happy that I came to this symposium, and I am grateful that TCC offers such things.”
Taylor said the symposium was empowering.

“You could feel the connection between us all,” she said. “It’s a glorious feeling to walk into a room not knowing the things that you would soon be walking out knowing, recognizing that someone had just taught something that could possibly change your life forever.”

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