SPC hosts the 14th Annual Women in Non-Traditional Occupations Conference

April 4, 2024

SPC Marketing & Strategic Communications

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St. Philip’s College hosted the 14th Annual Women in Non-Traditional Occupations (WINTO) conference at Southwest Campus on March 22. The conference provides female high school students with the opportunity to explore career pathways in industries in male-dominated fields.

The idea of WINTO originally began in 2009 with a student club led by the late James Wright, who was then the Director of Phoenix Middle College. The club provided services and activities for students enrolled in non-traditional programs and helped build leadership skills, helping female students overcome obstacles entering non-traditional careers.

Although Mr. Wright passed away on July 2, 2012, his legacy continues at St. Philip’s College through the WINTO conference and with The James H. Wright Endowed Scholarship. The $500 scholarship is awarded to a full-time student majoring in Allied Construction Trade each academic year. Mr. Wright's family regularly attends the conference each year.

This year’s conference included a career/education fair and various sessions that focused on the advantages of choosing non-traditional careers. The event’s keynote speaker, Danielle Bennett, also known as Diva Q, is an advocate for women in non-traditional occupations. She is a certified barbecue and grilling expert, chef, pit master, celebrated TV host, best-selling author, and former world pork, bacon, sausage, wings, dessert, and grilling champion.

Diva Q expressed her excitement at the event and said, “For me, inspiring women is a key cornerstone of life. WINTO brings young women together, and the idea behind the event is what allows these young ladies to connect with their future. My advice to these high school students is to get out of your comfort zone.”

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