A time to give back...

The Women's Leadership Council has been a pivotal part of my life at the University of Florida. I have learned so many skills for my career that I could have never attained with out the hands-on work I have done. Writing business letters, creating publicity and making contacts within the community are just a few of the valuable lessons I have learned on the W.L.C. But most importantly, I have learned how to be a strong leader at the University of Florida.The ladies and I take some time to pose for a picture while doing some publicity at Gator Nights.  We often had to take turns sitting at the table to promote Women's History Month in March. I no longer look at obstacles that face women as barriers, but as challenges. And I have learned to speak my voice, and not be ashamed of being a strong woman. I know all of this might make me sound like a crazy feminist, but I promise you that I am the opposite.

You can define me instead as the director of Artistic Reflections Today (A.R.T.) This program was formed by myself and Dani Berrin in 2002. Its purpose is to educate and empower UF students on issues that face women today through an artistic medium. Each year the A.R.T. staff chooses an artistic medium to discuss these issues through. Last year we explored women’s issues in the workforce through the medium of film. We held a panel discussion in the Reitz Union and had five women in different professions come and speak. We then watched film clips from films such as "Baby Boom," and "What Women Want." The event was definately a success. In 2003 we will address the topic through the artistic mediums of poetry, paintings and photography.

I personally am more excited for the event this year. It will be held Nov. 13 from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. in the Reitz Union Colonnade. It is an art contest extravaganza that is for, and by, UF students. This year, W.L.C. is accepting artistic submissions from the local student artists, and then will display them at the event. The pieces will be voted on, and the winners in each category will receive prizes such as gift certificates and art supplies. We also will have food, live music and balloon art at the event.

I am particularly proud of this year's work because I feel it will address a larger audience than last year’s event did. By putting the work out in the Colonnade, the event will be open to everyone. This in turn will educate even more people. I also am extremely proud because of all the hard work that has gone into preparing A.R.T. My fellow staff members, Tamara Rimland and Lauren Murphy, have been amazing.Me and some fellow council members got a little messy while enjoying a birthday cake at a Tuesday night meeting.  We often relieve stress by taking time out of our meetings to have some fun. Together we have received two food scholarships, made over 300 flyers, sent out letters to over 50 businesses for solicitations, received entries for the event, done extensive publicity and put together a fun and educational event. It is truly an accomplishment!

I hope that everyone will attend our event in November. If you can't, please take some time to look at the other amazing events that the Women’s Leadership Council puts on.

I know that most people might think the Women's Leadership Council sounds kinda scary and radical, but the ladies that work for it are nothing of the sort. Myself and the other women have become extremely close friends. We have sung karaoke together, gone to concerts, shared secrets and organized amazing events. I can't imagine a more dynamic, sweet and talented group of ladies than the Women's Leadership Council.

"A leader is a dealer in hope."
-Napoleon Bonaparte

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