21st annual Women Empowered Conference inspires non-traditional students to achieve their goals

February 1, 2023

Office of Marketing & Strategic Communications

The annual WE: Women Empowered Conference at San Antonio College caters to a group often overlooked by college recruitment efforts: non-traditional female students.

“The conference reaches out to a population that doesn’t get that message that they can come to school, and encourages them to do that,” said Dr. Mary Helen Vera, Director of the Empowerment Center at SAC. “It’s a retention effort as well to let current students know we’re here to support them.”

WE Conference 2023 copy.jpgMore than 400 women are expected to attend the 21st annual WE Conference on May 18 at McAllister Auditorium from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Anyone is welcome to attend the conference, including current SAC students. Attendance is free but registration is required and must be completed by May 18. To register, go here.

Participants can look forward to inspiring speakers and workshops on topics including professional and personal development, overcoming fears to reach goals, self-esteem and wellness.

“We talk a lot about taking care of yourself because as women, a lot of times it’s about others,” Vera said. “We do a lot on filling your own cup because sometimes you give so much there’s nothing left.”

MG Angie Salinas.jpgOne highlight will be keynote speaker Major General Angie Salinas, CEO of Girl Scouts of Southwest Texas. Salinas retired from the U.S. Marine Corps after 39 years, where she became the first Latina selected and promoted to the general officer ranks in the Marine Corps. At the time of her retirement in September 2013, she was the senior ranking woman and the senior Hispanic in the Corps. Salinas, a Girl Scout alumna, joined Girl Scouts of Southwest Texas as chief executive officer in July 2015.

Organizers will also present SAC scholarships at the event. In 2022, attendees received 32 scholarships totaling $28,000. Both new and current students are eligible to apply. Applications for scholarships for conference attendees will be available online at the Empowerment Center website.

With support from Valero, the conference sponsor, participants will benefit from two new improvements this year. A translator will translate some of the conference into Spanish through special equipment and headsets. In addition, shuttle services will transport participants to breakout sessions in different buildings this year so attendees don’t have to walk in the heat.

SAC’s Empowerment Center organizes the conference. The center provides educational support and retention services for women and non-traditional students, including single parents, displaced homemakers, first-generation college students and other individuals who benefit from support in a college environment.

For more information on the conference or Empowerment Center services call 210-486-0455.