Room to Grow

News, Winter 2017

Area Leaders Tackle Tough Questions about Community Engagement

Community engagement takes everyone. Hear from an educator, an entrepreneur and an author on how Omaha women can continue to engage, enlighten and invigorate their communities.

Dr. Janice Garnett, Ed.D.
Instructor, University of Nebraska Omaha

Q: What resources do you feel are available to women to help us connect with each other and to collaborate on community projects?

A: The many women’s organizations such as the Women’s Fund, Women Center for Advancement, League of Women Voters, National Council of Negro Women, Junior League, The Links, and Girls Incorporated exist to provide community projects. Often times, these organizations work in isolation. How can a plan be developed to truly promote collaboration on a common issue? This is one of the most resourceful ways to connect and collaborate on community projects.

Heather Holmes
Entrepreneur, Community Advocate

Q: As an entrepreneur, what advice do you have for young women?

A: I would encourage young women to speak up! To know their worth, insist on fair and equal pay. Ask the questions they need answers to. Put themselves at the table and into the challenging conversations. Collaborate with the teams they are on. Above all, let go! Know that they can start again and reinvent themselves many times over. I would say, please, please take risks and listen to your intuition. Women are powerful beings and all women, young women included, know what is best for them. Be passionate and do not let a single comment get them off course. They will find their place in this world!

Maddie Rheinheimer
Author and High School Senior

Q: How do you feel our perceptions of ourselves might empower us?

A: I believe so strongly that our greatest power and strength in life comes from within, and you can’t build a castle with broken tools. If your mind is full of negative thoughts about how terrible you are, how you’ll never be the person you see on the screen, or in the magazine, then you won’t. Simple as that. But as soon as you look at the person in the mirror and realize how perfect you already are, you’ll be exactly who you were destined to be. There are no labels or titles to tie you down in this world, and everyone needs to know this. W

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