Rep. Candy Spence Ezzell talks with Job Corps student Lesha Brown Thursday. Ezzell served as keynote speaker for the Center’s Women’s Day Forum. (Ilissa Gilmore Photo)
Roswell Job Corps Center hosted Thursday a day-long Women’s Day Forum to promote personal and professional sisterhood among female students and help them realize their potential.
Career Technical Education Director Amy Briggs told students that day-to-day, as well as in the working world, “women need to support each other.”
“Some of the most atrocious things done to women are done by other women,” she said.
The center organized a day of workshops on topics such as leadership, self-value and dealing with body image issues and ownership and Job Corps instructors also shared their personal experiences to inspire students.
Rep. Candy Spence Ezzell, R-Roswell, served as the event’s keynote speaker and related her experiences in managing all aspects of her life, from her work as a rancher to her legislative role in Sante Fe.
“Whenever a woman steps into a man’s field, it’s doubly tough,” she said. “It takes a lot of work and planning to be successful.”
To make it, Ezzell said women need three things, “a wish bone, a back bone and a funny bone.”
No matter how hard their situation gets, she encouraged the young women to take chances and to reach out to Job Corps instructors and other students when they need guidance.
“There is help out there, but we aren’t mind readers,” Ezzell said. “You have to ask for it.”
It is important for young women to know that “they have the opportunity to do whatever they want,” Ezzell said, and institutions such as Job Corps provide the skills they need to do so.
Student Lesha Brown found Ezzell’s speech inspiring and met with her afterward for a few more words of encouragement. Brown, 19, studied automotive technology and will graduate soon to attend Wyotech’s Daytona, Fla., campus.
As someone also working in a male-dominated field, she said it was good to hear success as a woman is possible.
“(Ezzell) wanted to do things and she did them,” Brown said.
Students also heard from Andrea Nieto, superintendent of Hondo Valley Public Schools and received make-up tips from Jennifer Quintero and Teri Rodriguez of the New You Salon.
Job Corps Center Director Lana Kite said the forum was the first of its kind, though there are hopes for it to become annual. The center also plans to hold a men’s forum in the upcoming months.