2014 Women’s Leadership Symposium

Today, I attended the 2014 Women’s Leadership Symposium at UIC! There were many new lessons and tools I took away from the event. First of, I would like to thank UIC’s Honors College for sponsoring my ticket. Thank you! In addition, I got there and noticed that I was likely the youngest person in the room. Just finishing my first year of college, I was used to having a bunch of college kids around me. I was surrounded by older, inspiring women with many insightful and interesting stories and experiences! Growing up with grandparents, I have learned to appreciate the many stories of their own youth and can sit for hours listening to detail after detail. Many of these women were staff at UIC from various departments. One woman I spoke to when I sat down was a graduate Kinesiology student, and we spoke about her current life at Rush. She surprised me by asking more about my career path. CARD SWAP. She told me more about statistics (many people have been telling me to try out) and how she knew an Economist. I also met many current UIC students there who were just as enthused as I was! (I’m glad I wasn’t the only one finding this all wonderful and inspiring).

The photo above is Dr. Judith Wright. She was our morning speaker. Her story was very inspirational. From a teenage girl to her now, she has accomplished much and endured her own battles being a woman. The energy she had was just what all of us not so early risers needed! Haha One quote that caught my attention was to “Celebrate the past and look forward to the future”  What a refreshing way to see your history of life. Celebrate what you’ve done and anticipate what the future awaits! 

Here are some notes I took on her message:

1. Yearn

What is it what you want? It’s a feeling you get from your core.

2. Engage

Just interact and be apart of the world around you.

3. Revelate

find your belief systems

4. Liberate

Make mistakes boldly!

5. Re-matrix

change yourself completely for the better. 🙂

6. Dedicate

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This is a photo I got of Merri Dee. She worked for WGN for many years. She told her encounter with abuse, near death experience, and gave us powerful advice on life. As she said, “Everything is in the book” in terms of her life story. I LOVED HER! She was my favorite speaker of the entire day. First, she was very very funny! Second, she had a unique perspective on love, sisterhood, and being a mother. I could’ve sat and listened to her talk forever. Need to chip my pennies for her book!

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The image to the left is a notecard of compliments about myself from women in one of my workshops. The activity was to write down the first thing we saw on a someone that we LOVED on them. I saw so many gorgeous women from their hair, smiles, glow, hair, and etc. I wasn’t even paying attention to what my card had on it. As we finished the activity, I read the comments. This was something similar to the  Mirror experiment shown below. My reaction was amazed. My primary reason being because I was having a bad hair day and the comments on my hair. In addition, many of the features they listed were ones I wasn’t fond of on myself.

The event was great! Can’t wait for next year. 🙂

As I wrap up, don’t forget to be messy and engage in your life. You never know what experiences and adventures you’re missing out on.

Love, Gaby

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