By June Leffler
The Women 4 Women’s student chapter is making strides in its second semester with new projects, more recruits and a growing infrastructure. The group strives to improve the health and economic well-being of women by increasing awareness and providing necessary resources. Interested students can attend the Sept. 24 meeting in room 314 of the Student Activities Center from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. At their first meeting of the semester, they discussed the mission, history and upcoming projects of the group.
Students are able to begin any project they can support.
“We embrace students’ ideas so they can create, develop and implement their own projects to help themselves and others,” said W4W adviser Valerie Casey.
“Women are able to expand their boundaries, even if they don’t feel like they have a starting point,” said sophomore chemistry major and W4W member Mee Ri Lee. “Everyone has a voice. Your idea won’t just get pushed to the side.”
The women involved are very determined in recruiting, through Student Government Association newsletters, Recognized Student Organization fairs, Facebook and word of mouth.
“We want a large enough membership to have a sustainable and diverse group,” said Casey. “This is really an opportunity for students to propel themselves personally and professionally.”
“It’s a young organization, but I think it’s going to be huge,” said Lee.
“Women should stick together,” said freshman psychology major Zenaida Sanchez. After attending her first meeting, Sanchez is excited to be a part of the organization.
Students are also able to network with community leaders in organizations like Leadership Louisville and 100 Wise Women.
“At the end of my college career, I want the ability to branch out into the community,” said Lee. “And I have already been able to make those connections.”
W4W is co-hosting Finance 4 U sessions, along with the Graduate Student Council, on how to deal with budgeting, loans, building credit and other financial considerations. These sessions will be held Sept. 23, Oct. 21 and Nov. 11.
Women 4 Women also sponsors the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure on Saturday Oct. 10. This is a 5K race that raises donations for researching and treating breast cancer.
“We like the Susan Komen program because the money we raise stays in Louisville,” said Lee.
The organization began in February of 2009 after Provost Shirley Willihnganz asked the Women’s Center to develop a Women 4 Women student chapter.
“A lot of organizations are started by the students,” said Casey. “This started the other way around.”
Sophomore exercise science major Chloe Devore is able to do work-study related to her major through W4W.
“We look at women’s problems and provide a support group,” said Devore.
This first year, W4W is working on building an infrastructure by developing programs, obtaining funding and raising membership.
There is also talk of a women’s series at the Floyd Theater, self defense classes through the police department, a nutrition session through Health Services and alumni mentoring.