Goodwin Women Celebrate Real Women, Real Life
On Saturday, April 26, a heartwarming gathering of mothers, daughters, sisters, colleagues, and friends came together at the Pond House Café in West Hartford for Real Women, Real Life, a brunch event to benefit Goodwin College scholarships for women.
Proud of the women that account for 82% of its current student population, Goodwin values the dreams of students and acknowledges their struggles. A wonderful spirit of camaraderie and excitement was in the air at the event, noted Brooke Penders, Vice President of Advancement at the College.
“Today we are here to appreciate real women dealing with real life. We are here to celebrate all of the women who make it possible — those who challenge us, support us, and love us,” Penders stated.
Penders introduced Amy Tenenbaum, a 22-year-old nursing student, who faced considerable challenges on her journey to Goodwin and is a great example of what women deal with in real life. For many years, Tenenbaum struggled with an intense eating disorder that affected every aspect of her life. Finally realizing it was time for a change, she entered rehab and found the strength to overcome her problem. “The nurses and doctors truly inspired me,” she shared with the guests at the brunch. “I started looking into nursing as a career and was instantly attracted to the supportive environment at Goodwin. I’m constantly surrounded by intelligent, inspirational women.”
Teshia Levy-Grant, Assistant Professor of First Year Experience, who took the podium next began with a quotation from Ralph Waldo Emerson: “The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.” Emerson’s insight resonated with Levy-Grant on many levels. Having lost both her son and her brother, she found strength in other women. Many of Levy-Grant’s students are immersed in similar difficult situations, but she does everything in her power to prevent them from failing. “My purpose is to believe in students when they can’t believe in themselves… to reach out and invest in them.”
Dr. Maria Ellis (pictured second from left), physician at Woodland Women’s Health Associates and chair of the Goodwin College Board of Trustees, invests in Goodwin in more ways than one. It is evident in the way she speaks of the College that she believes strongly in its mission and cares deeply for the students. Ellis thanked her mother, Esther, who worked long hours to see her through college and medical school. “My mom went back to school as an adult learner to pursue a master’s degree in education. I’ve met so many people at Goodwin like my mother. She made education available to me. She is the reason I made it through school.”
The brunch concluded with feelings of gratitude and empowerment. “Too often we see women bringing each other down. Today we are celebrating women and building each other up. It is amazing what we can accomplish when we support each other,” Penders stated.
Goodwin College sincerely thanks everyone who came to support the resilient, strong women who help define the College’s mission. The event was a great success due in large part to the immense support of donors and friends of the College. Goodwin hopes to continue to facilitate a supportive, positive environment for real women in real life.
Check out the photo album here!
By: Hannah Stacy