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Presented By: CEW+

STEM Women: Sharing our Stories, Illustrating our Resilience

Marilee Benore, PhD

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All of us have stories to share. Reflecting upon your life, choices you made, how you overcame obstacles - highlights your personal strengths and motivations. Sharing your story with others…the paths, the deviations, the obstacles and the joys, the large and small things that kept you going, is both human and more importantly - could be a critical example for someone struggling with a similar situation. Understanding the choices and actions that strengthen resilience is sometimes called true grit. The realization that this was an underserved area of STEM research, that would be important to anyone- women, people of color, or any socially obstructed group- who needed examples during difficult challenges, motivated my work. We will learn what evidence supports resilience training. I will share a few stories I have heard—promising and challenging, and the ways these individuals succeeded. Some of the common underlying themes will be discussed.

PART ONE - Introduction. The first part of the workshop will be a presentation of my path and experiences. How I resolved my desire to support women in STEM by discovering and sharing stories. I will acknowledge my challenges and choices in work and family, and share other stories of challenge and grit.

PART TWO - Sharing stories. Next, small groups of individuals will be formed. Each person, as comfortable, will share a story demonstrating resilience, identifying their own support and motivations. They will then call upon each other to help solve obstacles they currently face.

PART THREE - Wrap up. In a wrap-up, each group will be asked to share one example of a resilience challenge. Participants will take away an understanding of their own motivations and “true grit”, help someone else navigate an obstacle, and get support for their own journey.

An integral part of the Inspire initiative is pairing advocacy, social change, and activism with skills that enhance a sense of well-being, focus, and interconnectedness. A short guided Mindfulness Meditation practice will be incorporated into the program.
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