Women’s Fair offers day of inspiration, empowerment
More than a hundred women enjoyed a day of inspiration, motivation and education on Saturday at the Women’s Fair held at the College of Southern Maryland’s La Plata campus, a sold out event sponsored by the Charles County Chamber of Commerce.
With breakfast and lunch provided, the fair offered many exhibitors, motivational speakers, yoga demonstrations, 10-minute massages, and an educational health and wellness area, which included free blood pressure testing and skin cancer screenings. The event also served as a valuable networking opportunity for women for all ages.
During the breakout sessions in the morning and afternoon, the women had an opportunity to listen to their choice of four presentations.
Fontella Moody helped motivate those in attendance to pursue their goals, and discussed how to overcome obstacles along the way, as she presented “Lean In & Let Go.”
Nicole Daniels, whose presentation was titled “The Truth: Stress, Work and Living a Balanced Life,” taught, for example, how important it is to carve out quality family time amid a busy work schedule.
The title of Joyce Cool’s presentation, “A Man is Not a Financial Plan,” speaks for itself, empowering women to seek their own financial independence, and how to accomplish that.
Those seeking relaxation and meditation certainly enjoyed “Nourishing Your Mind Body and Soul” with Tracey Morris, owner of Therapeutic Massage and Wellness Spa in La Plata.
The day was highlighted by keynote speaker LaTisha Durham, whose inspirational story moved some audience members to tears. Raised by a single parent in Washington, D.C., Durham now works as a computer systems engineer and air navigation program lead for the Navy’s E-2D Advanced Hawkeye reconnaissance aircraft at Patuxent River Naval Air Station.
“I never in a million years thought I would be standing here,” she said, adding that she’s always just been focused on accomplishing the task on hand, whether that be figuring out how to put together a computer at a young age, studying for an exam, or working on Naval aircrafts. “… Having people reach out to ask if I can speak, it’s all so surreal.”
“I love helping people,” Durham continued. “If I could just motivate or inspire somebody to do something, especially if its in engineering, and they did it because of me, then I fulfilled my legacy.”
For many, Durham’s speech was the highlight of the day.
“Oh the keynote, she was fantastic,” said Sandy Washington, founder of LifeStyles Inc., a nonprofit dedicated to helping those in need. “… Her story, her story just touched me. I looked around the room, and I looked at all those young girls, and looked at their faces as they were hearing her story.”
“A regular person, coming up with a single parent and coming from where she did and ending up where she is, and still helping young people, young women, go into a career that just didn’t seem possible,” Washington said. “Incredible.”
Also in attendance was Shadonna Green, 25, of Indian Head who started her own housecleaning company last year, Reasonable Cleaning LLC, after working in the industry for six years.
“I got to meet a lot of new people, women who were here to empower each other,” she said. “... There are networks of women who want to encourage other women, and that’s something I learned today.”
Being a business owner, she said, sometimes made her feel that she was on her own, but “coming here today made me feel like I have a community of women who are there to support and empower me to do what I want to do in the future.”
The event concluded with raffle drawings, and all the leftover food was donated to the Robert J. Fuller House and other homeless shelters in the county.
The day was highlighted by keynote speaker LaTisha Durham, whose inspirational story moved some audience members to tears. Raised by a single parent in Washington, D.C., Durham now works as a computer systems engineer and program lead for the Navy’s E-2D Advanced Hawkeye reconnaissance aircraft at Naval Air Station Patuxent River.
After delivering her speech and answering questions, LaTisha Durham greets a young girl who attended Saturday’s women’s fair, held at the College of Southern Maryland’s La Plata Campus, an event sponsored by the Charles County Chamber of Commerce.
Therapeutic Massage and Wellness Spa, based in La Plata, provided free 10-minute massages during the women’s fair.
Shadonna Green, 25, of Indian Head, who started her own housecleaning business last year, Reasonable Cleaning LLC, was one of many young women who attended the women’s fair for networking opportunities.
Close to 150 women attended the day-long event.