A Brief Outlook on the Women of Distinction Program
FOUNDINGS AND BACKGROUND:
Women of Distinction began out of a desire to represent the ladies on our campus. After Men of Honor was created, the women on our campus felt left out and I felt the need to find a way to honor them. I remembered that my previous campus had a group called the “Ladies of Distinction” and I felt that this would be perfect for our campus. Mr. Morales preferred they be called “Women of Distinction” so that it correlated with the men. I got together the bylaws, flyer, and called a meeting, and then the club was formed.
The purpose of this group was to honor the women on our campus, to discover their needs, to set an example for others, and to teach them what being a good, true, and independent woman is all about. Many of our girls do not have the right role models and desperately need someone in their life that cares enough to direct them. We have sponsors of every age, race, and economic background in order to reach out to every type of girl in our group. Our focus as Women of Distinction is to inspire, set an example, and be leaders on our campus.
We began by meeting during Activity period (30 minutes each week on Wednesdays) to discuss needs, wants, and purposes of the club. We quickly determined the needs to be lessons on values and respect, parenting skills, and preparation for college/future. The wants included learning to change a tire, cooking skills, and gaining friendship and trust among staff and students. So, our purpose became to incorporate each of those and more into our club. We continued to meet during activity period in order to create and build relationships, speak on certain topics, and basically begin to establish our group as a whole. Soon, we began to be involved with activities and fundraisers on campus.
ACTIVITIES AND INVOLVEMENT:
The first activity the Women of Distinction participated in was the Food for Families food drive. We competed against the Men of Honor to see who could raise more canned goods and won. However, the important part of this food drive was not winning, but about teaching our ladies to uphold a charitable spirit and to give to families in need, even when they have little themselves.
Our women participated in a dress up day called, “Guys in Ties and Girls in Pearls” in order to show that we have poise and class. We want to set an example for the other women on our campus and show them what a real lady looks like.
In January of 2015, the Women of Distinction participated in the MLK Freedom March. The route began at Sadie Thomas Park and followed a two-and-a-half-mile stretch of Martin Luther King Jr. Street to Kemp Elementary School, where a program was held for the participants. This was a great opportunity to teach our women to have and show pride in their culture.
Women of Distinction ran a Valentine Fundraiser in order earn money for our club. The money earned would go to purchasing t-shirts for the members of our group as well as for other activities and/or field trips. We made and decorated sugar cookies, bundled heart-shaped lollipops, and had our wonderful secretary make chocolate covered strawberries. We advertised “Val-o-grams” to our student body, spent an afternoon preparing our goodies, and sold them the week leading up to Valentine’s Day. On the Friday before Valentine’s Day, our girls delivered the pre-ordered and prepared Val-o-grams to the receiving students. This was a very successful fundraiser that allowed our women the opportunity to get creative, become involved, and raise money for our club.
Pasta for Pennies was the latest activity that the Women of Distinction actually directed and participated in on campus. This fundraiser is part of The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s organization that is dedicated to funding blood cancer research and providing education and patient services. This year, we ran a competition among the different departments and raised over $430, outdoing last year’s amount of $127. Again, this was not about winning, but about teaching our students generosity and about donating our money to help find cures and treatments for blood cancer patients.
PRESENT ACHIEVEMENTS AND FUTURE PLANS
Next year, we will have to reassign roles because all of our officers are graduating! We are extremely proud of each of them and how far they have come. Not only that, but this year, four of our members are completing the Medical Office Technician program through Blinn College, and one of our members received a scholarship for college. We are very excited to recognize these achievements.
Although the Women of Distinction program is still a work in progress, it has been a great way to get our women involved on campus and in the community. We hope to grow bigger, stronger, and impact more lives in the future.