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Why I will be returning to next years Women’s Leadership Conference

Written by Carla Canas, Staff Writer

Attending the 2015 Women’s Leadership Conference was an incredibly empowering event. I will definitely attend again next year. Growing up with a single mother and witnessing every single struggle she had to overcome was something that made me appreciate all of her hard work not only as a mother but as a working parent. This conference made me realize how strong of a woman my mother is and how she, herself, is a leader in society.

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Lateefah Simon shares why, “Our Time is Now. Leadership is Not an Option, It’s a Mandate.”

All of the female speakers had a little something to contribute to every attending guest. Hearing the presentation from Linda Davis Taylor, Personal Finance 101: Prepare To Be The CEO In Your Own Life reminded me of the financial struggles my mother and I had to go through. Taylor mentioned that “[f]inancial worries are the biggest reason women stay up at night.” This phrase brought me back to the nights the clock marked past 12 a.m. I would wake up to my mother’s sighs and complaints about unpaid bills, how the rent was due next week, and how she couldn’t afford things.

Of all the inspiring speakers that were at the conference, one, in particular, inspired me the most, Lateefah Simon. With such a great message, I am almost sure every other person who attended could agree with me. Simon shared how she went from living in the projects as a teen mom to becoming a nationally recognized civil rights leader and even appearing on Oprah Winfrey’s O Magazine’s, “Power List.” I had the chance to personally meet Lateefah and thank her for her presentation. We conversed about my college experience as a freshman student and she offered helpful advice.

Attending this conference made me realize exactly why I decided to come to Mount Saint Mary’s. I knew that as a women’s institution, it had something special. I now know I can learn how to become a stronger leader within the next four years. As Lateefah Simon stated, “Your self-determination and your fierceness, these things will keep you alive when all else fails.”

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