CFES Brilliant Pathways To Young Women: ‘Find Your Voice’


Check out this article from the Sun Community News:

ESSEX | Young female students from throughout the North Country came together at CFES Brilliant Pathways headquarters in Essex to discuss how to engage and empower young women.

Students from Westport, Ticonderoga, Crown Point, Saranac, Beekmantown, Plattsburgh High and as far south as Schenectady High School attended the session.

Tara Smith, vice president of programming at CFES — formerly known as College for Every Student — said young women can “take charge” of the future by using the skills of goal setting, teamwork, agility, leadership, perseverance and networking

“You all possess these skills already and you are using them every day in a lot of different ways,” Smith said. “We want to help you be mindful of these skills and use them in a deeper way and use them as much as you can because they are skills that are going to guide you through college and into your career.”

Networking is a big part of their future endeavors

“It’s the ability to turn someone you just met into someone who will support you and then build into a network of supporters,” Smith said. “They are people who can be very supportive in a number of ways through building this network.”

Executive Director of Education and Skills for the GE Foundation Kelli Wells said young women need to find their own voice to help them be in control of their lives.

In talking about moments where she was put in difficult situations, Wells said the key was to always rely on her core values and ideals and implored the members of the audience to do the same.

“I have been called names like Barbie,” Wells said. “I have been called stupid. I have had people judge me just because I walk in the room and I look a certain way. I have also been put in situations where someone has tried to use their power over me.

“It was in those moments, I realized I needed to persevere and be determined,” she added. “You have to stay true to yourself and you have to remember those qualities that make you, you.”

Wells also cited the ability to not to feel bad when put into a tough or unfair situation.

“I never sat there and felt pity for myself, but I turned it around and said, ‘No, I am in control and I am going to determine my situation,’” she said. “It’s about finding our voice and making sure we can be in control of our own lives.”

Wells also said supporting each other is another way to help break boundaries.

“It’s about being human,” she said. “It’s about seeing someone and stopping for a moment and saying, how can I help them. The number one thing is just being a good listener and just taking the time to just listen to what someone has to say.”

She added being true to oneself will be key for the young women as they go on from high school.

“I want you to think more about the meaning of those words you used to describe yourself,” she said, referring to an earlier workshop. “As you move on from high school, you need to realize there is a new world out there and can already be prepared for when those tough moments happen by staying true to yourself.”

2018-03-15T14:20:07+00:00February 26th, 2018|Categories: Press|Tags: , , , |