The seventh annual Women Helping Women event was hosted by the Alexandria Campus’ Women’s Retention Program and the Women’s Center on March 18. This year’s focus was “Be the Change: Say It Out Loud. Personally, Professionally, Practically: Voicing Fears and Sharing Experience.” The event was co-chaired by Melanie Medina and Rachel Martin and attended by more than 65 participants.
The mentoring program is in its eighth year of existence. With the support of Dr. George Gabriel in the Office of Institutional Effectiveness and Student Success Initiatives (OIESS) and headed by Dr. Jill Biden and Professor Emeritus Elizabeth Harrison, the program was developed to ensure that female students over the age of 30 receive the support that they need to attain their academic and career goals.
The event started with Biden welcoming the students. Former NOVA student Michelle Volberg walked the participants through an interactive workshop on empowerment. “I thought I was alone in my struggles but looking around this room I see that I am surrounded by others just like me,” said one of the student participants.
Dr. Carolyn Lorente moderated a session with Bonnie Andrade, Farkhunda Ali and Nancy Dorcas, former NOVA students and Women’s Mentoring Project mentees, who shared their stories of how they overcame personal struggles with self-doubt. The women talked about how they used the resources that NOVA offers such as the Women’s Mentoring program and how they looked to faculty, staff and most importantly each other for support.
The last event of the day featured a panel moderated by Professor Rachel Martin. The theme of the day came to life with Dr. Annette Haggray (Alexandria Campus Provost), Dr. Alka Ghandi, and Professor Emily Chiles describing how creating community helped them achieve their personal and career goals.
Video Services recorded the event, which you can view online.