The Power of Women meet the Power of Possibility

The Power of Women meet the Power of Possibility

THE HISTORY

Ten years ago, Southeast set out to establish the Power of Women scholarship. The committee knew that while the historic stereotype was that men controlled the money, in reality, it was women who donated it.

Studies show that women often give more to philanthropic causes than men. A statistic made even more surprising given that on average women make less than their male counterparts. Women are also motivated to give to groups supporting their own gender. These facts mixed with a desire to support young women through scholarships and connect students to successful female mentors launched the Power of Women Luncheon and resulted in scholarships awarded to 64 Southeast students.

THE PROBLEM

In 2020, the annual event was cancelled due to COVID. The scholarships were awarded, but the event itself did not take place. 2021 will mark the 10th anniversary of the event, a milestone no one wanted to see cancelled.

“It was really important to the committee to see the tenth anniversary happen, but we knew it had to be done safely and that it would be impossible to know what the outlook would be for an event in 2021,” says Development Director Amanda Lincoln. “We decided we were just going to re-envision the event.”

THE VISION

That re-imagining went further than just deciding to move the event into a virtual space. What was once a traditional luncheon and keynote now becomes the Power of Women Digital Summit, an event that would actually expand on the program’s goals of connecting and transforming women, both professionals and students.

The Summit will serve as a mini-conference offering tracks and conference sessions of interest to female professionals. The sessions are offered by
Southeast’s own cadre of female experts in those fields, and rather than static presentations, offer plenty of space for audience participation, conversation and Q&A.

Moving to a digital format will allow the group to also move forward with the fundraising necessary to fund the scholarships with the goal of reaching $100,000 to fund an endowment, so the scholarships could be awarded in perpetuity.

“We very much wanted to answer the call of what our audience is looking for: solutions to the challenges we all face, information to develop our careers, expertise in finances, methods to give back, and yes, in 2021, tips to take care of ourselves,” says Lincoln. “I’m so proud of the work this group accomplished so we could realize our 10th anniversary and do so in a safe and refreshing way while still delivering the quality of what our audience wants and the scholarships our students need.”\

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