By Cynthia Solis
East Los Angeles College Extended Opportunity Programs and Services program held a multitude of events in celebration of Women’s History Month; as a way to conclude the month, they held the “Inspiring Women” workshop.
The workshop began with ELAC’s President, Alberto Roman, congratulating the panelists for their remarkable contributions that they have made at ELAC, helping to carry the college forward. Roman stated that all the panelists are incredibly inspiring— capturing the essence of empowering women in our community. He was very humbled by the opportunity to attend and believes that it is essential to celebrate and recognize the panelists (and all women) for paving the way for future generations of hard-working women.
The workshop’s purpose was how to become a great leader and be successful. Many students submitted questions before the start of the meeting and they all had the general theme of how a person can be successful when the odds are stacked against them, whether it is because, as a woman, they are trying to enter a male-dominated career or if they don’t feel like they can do it.
Something that stood out in all of their responses is how important it is not to edit oneself and remember that they are a capable individual who is more than qualified for whatever they set their mind to. Dr. Angelica Suarez, one of the panelists, talked about how important it is to be authentic because it is a lot easier to be ones self than to have to hide who you really are.
It is also important to remember the value of learning to grow and develop as a leader. People often ask themselves, “why me” when their situation gets messy. Still, it is essential to remember that these challenges help you grow, so it is better to ask, “what can I learn from this hardship to better prepare when something happens again?”
All the panelists also stressed the importance of having a great support system. Support is something hard to come by, but whether it is a friend, teacher, or parent, that support makes the journey to a goal a lot easier. Angeles Abraham talks about how she has many mentors that pushed her when she didn’t have the motivation to work hard anymore and because of them she is now a Dean and EOPS director at West Los Angeles College. She has also taken the value of having a mentor in the way she helps students. Abraham believes that if she has a welcoming spirit and allows students to know someone is there to support them, they will dictate whether they complete their goal. She also describes the immense pride she feels whenever a student helps graduates because she knows what they overcame and what difference she made in their lives.
When trying to accomplish anything, an average amount of stress is typical, but panelist Julie Benavides discussed how important it is to take care of oneself by practicing self-care. In the beginning, she questioned its effectiveness, but now she swears by it. Practicing your breathing, self-reflecting, or simply having someone to talk to will significantly impact how a person can move on from challenges more robust than before.
A source she likes is https://projecthotmess.com/self-care-habits-of-successful-women/ which highlights many habits successful women should implement into their daily lives.