Julie Dempster: ‘Window’ to the future | CraigDailyPress.com

Julie Dempster: ‘Window’ to the future

To the editor:

The Girls to Women, Women to Girls Eighth-Grade Career Conference was Thursday at the Holiday Inn of Craig. The event provides a window through which our middle school girls can look into the possibilities of their futures.

The day began with classes presented by 20 local professional women, followed by a formal lunch, a personal finance simulation, opportunities to speak with high school peers and college representatives, and ended with a lesson on interview “dos and don’ts.”

An incredible number of women made this year’s conference possible.

First, I’d like to thank Janet Sheridan for her very wise and inspiring keynote speech.

Second, I’d like to thank our career presenters for sharing their life stories with the students and for giving them a chance to see beyond themselves: Kim Norris, Aleka Butler, Jeni Giedd Jones, Rose Lindquist, Corrie Ponikvar, Jennifer Riley, Melanie Franklin, Rebecca Chisholm, Nicky Boulger, Gina Robison, Jen Kenney, Verlaine Cowart, Audrey Anna Charchalis, Megan Gregg, Glenda Bellio, Dianna Ponikvar, Andrea Camp, district attorney Elizabeth Oldham, RN Terri Jourgensen and PA-C Neilene Folks.

We are also grateful that your employers gave you up for a few hours that day.

I’d also like to thank Colorado Northwestern Community College representative Kellie Dippel and our one brave man, Ryan Duran, of Mesa State College; high school peer panel Caitlin Harjes, Jordan McLeslie, Miranda Blomquist and Taylor Duzik; high school booths for choir, drama, FFA, student council, Key Club, DECA and FBLA; and “what not to wear” models  Kasey Sommerville, Brittney Madigan, Tasha Burke, Jessi Scott, Riley Johnston, Jessica Prather, Sharlena Hoffman, Chelsie Sloan and Jaycee McCoy.

Thank you also to volunteers Debbie Beckett, Corrie Ponikvar, Christine Balderston, Lani Cleverly, Tammie Ahlmer, Carol Moore, Emily Nagle and Mel Feree for helping the girls throughout the day.

A special thanks to the staff and management of the Holiday Inn for the excellent lunch and for accommodating almost 90 eighth-grade girls and all of the day’s activities.

This year’s conference could not have been at all possible without the time and dedication of committee members  Renee Campbell, Eva Peroulis, Christy Gonzales, Kandee Dilldine, Kim Conci, Rose Lindquist, Paula Duzik and Michelle Henderson.

For months they made time for weekday meetings and then spent the whole day on their feet keeping the conference rolling. Thank you all so very much.

It is ultimately the tireless efforts of Dana Duran of the Boys & Girls Club of Craig and a grant from the Women’s Foundation of Colorado that keeps this annual event possible. 

Lastly, I’d like to thank the girl’s committee and all of this year’s eighth-grade girls for their participation and professional demeanor during the conference. Keep that up and you’ll have great success in high school and beyond.

Julie Dempster

Girls to Women 2011 chairwoman

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