Women from around Utah gathered on Nov. 1, in the Grand Ballroom at UVU to learn how to unlock their potential in education and within themselves.

The event was hosted by the Utah Women’s Leadership Project. Throughout the semester the group has been hosting multiple events to help women advance in their life whether it be through finances or education.

On Thursday night, the event was focused on how to unlock your potential through discovering your strengths, how to ask for what you want and how to build a strong network.

Later, the attendees would be able to attend breakout sessions that went into greater detail on how to unlock their potential.

The event began with a brief plenary session given by President Astrid S. Tuminez of UVU, whose speech focused on the importance of education for girls and women.

“When a girl has dreams, do we say to that girl that she can only have one dream?” said Tuminez, “Instead we need to say that we need all talent, that all dreams matter, and if we don’t have a more level playing field, what does that say about our values and aspirations?”

She went on to discuss education and the impact on women, that currently 70 percent of students in institutions are led by women, that higher education has many women leaders so young women shouldn’t be discouraged to be ambitious.

“Education is so important, and it’s not even the act of going to university and getting your Ph.d, while all of that can be very valuable, the question at the end of the day is what are we learning?” discussed Tuminez, “Are we honing our talents? Are we improving ourselves? Don’t be afraid to be ambitious, I had a friend who recently visited UVU and she asked me why women don’t have bigger ambitions? If you’re learning that you are good at something why don’t you go all the way and become a surgeon? I believe you should make your education take you as far as you can go.”

Many women at the event felt inspired by Tuminez’s words and felt motivated to be more ambitious and strong.

One of those women was, Claudia Hales, a teaching assistant in the math department at UVU, “President Tuminez inspired me today and I am grateful for the opportunity to be here with my daughter and my friend.” said Hales, “I loved the lessons that she taught us today, but the main one is that we are not alone. at UVU we have amazing tools and resources for anyone, and anyone can come and feel like home.”

Another guest at the event, Ann Howden also felt inspired by Tuminez’s words, “I liked a lot of the things that she said, I liked that she said you need to have a really good support network.” said Howden, “We tend to believe our own hype and we need people to be honest and truthful and tell us whether or not if we are headed in the right direction.”

Photo courtesy of UVU Marketing.