Women of Resilience, Tenacity, and Humility (W.O.R.T.H.) is a new organization at Stevenson University that focuses on empowering young women to become leaders by developing their character and introducing them to resources that can help them reach their full potential.
W.O.R.T.H., which became officially recognized as a club by the SGA on Nov. 11, 2016, was founded by Taraya Pettaway, Aleesia Medina, Dejonna Farrar, and Daja Nasib. Describing themselves as “4 women, 1 vision,” they aim to do for young women on campus what Male Initiative of Leadership and Excellence (M.I.L.E.) does for young men.
Pettaway, a senior, wishes she would have started the group before her graduating year but is excited to set the foundation and leave an impact on the Stevenson community after her departure.
“As a freshman, I didn’t feel that there was a club on campus that supported me. I was aware of M.I.L.E. but there wasn’t an equivalent for females to help them get prepared for the professional world. We’re trying to help our girls who didn’t come from homes or schools that promote a real professional mindset. I want to provide a purpose for girls, rather than them sitting in their dorms like I did,” she said as she described the roots of their movement.
Every Wednesday is “W.O.R.T.H. Wednesday” at Stevenson and all of the members are required to wear business professional attire to promote a career-oriented and positive female image on campus. Meetings for the organization are conducted every Thursday at 6:30 p.m.
W.O.R.T.H. promotes a sisterhood of diverse people in a wide range of ethnicities and backgrounds. W.O.R.T.H. gives members the opportunity to build a strong network of support and love, and make connections that that will last a lifetime.
The organization is still in its infancy but the organizers have a vision to become a strong presence on campus.
“When Stevenson was Villa Julie it was an all-girls school, they didn’t need a club like this. But now it’s co-ed and other focused groups are thriving and women, for lack of a better term, are falling behind. There’s nothing like this not even at other local universities. We feel like we want to better ourselves and other women, especially with all the challenges we are guaranteed to face,” said Nasib, the group’s secretary.
W.O.R.T.H.’s first event, shared exclusively with The Villager, will be called Cozy Girl Talk. All students are welcome to wear pajamas and drink hot cocoa while discussing issues concerning academia, the professional world and life in general. Cozy Girl Talk will be held in Rockland conference room A on Feb. 28, 2017.
Medina, the club’s treasurer, explained, “What we came up with is, ‘What is your worth?’ So we really want to push girls to unlock their leadership potential. It’s not just about your college experience; it’s about what you can gain from it and use after college. Our program aims to build leadership skills and help students to achieve academically, while giving back to the community and building a diverse network of women. If you can achieve everything I just listed, then you should be set for your experiences after college. And we’re here to help all of that happen.”