Chilliwack Soroptimist’s plan career day for young women

Young women will be encouraged to dream big at one-day mentoring workshop

Kelly O'Blenis

Kelly O'Blenis

Chilliwack’s future female leaders of industry have a chance for some invaluable mentoring.

Dream It Be It: Career Support for Girls is an all-day event Nov. 19, hosted by the Soroptimist International Club of Chilliwack.

All girls in middle or high school are welcome to attend, from throughout the lower mainland. It’s a completely free event that will bring young women together with successful professional women from a variety of fields.

Amy Lanteigne, president of the SIC in Chilliwack, says they’re excited to be bringing this event to life, and hoping it becomes an annual offering.

It will include a meet-and-greet with the girls, a chance for them to make their own vision boards, practise yoga, and learn how to manage stress.

They will hear how Soroptimist club members have risen above obstacles and turned failures into successes. They will even work with Cari Moore from Work BC, who will be facilitating a workshop on landing a job. The workshop will include how to dress for professional interviews, how to write an effective resume, and will teach them very helpful self-confidence boosting strategies.

After a provided lunch, a panel of business women will be on hand to speak and answer questions the girls have for them. The panel includes Sue Attrill, city council member and new executive director of the Chilliwack Hospice Society, Kelly O’Blenis, veterinarian, Leung Chang, Doctor, Catherine Mazurenko, Social Media Coordinator at Petcurean Pet Nutrition, and half a dozen other local business women.

Mazurenko said she’s looking forward to sharing how she found her way into a career in digital marketing.

“A key reason why I wanted to get involved is because I think it’s never too early to start laying down a foundation for your future,” she said. “Whether it be through academics, athletics, leadership, etc., there are so many resources available at these girls’ fingertips in this community and this event is a perfect example of that.

“Also, a career in digital marketing and social media isn’t one I would have dreamed to exist when I was in high school, so I wanted to share how I got to where I am now and if it happens to help one girl start to lay her career foundation then that would be pretty cool.”

The event could even connect young women with long-term mentors, as the volunteer mentors have agreed to carry on mentoring the participants through their early careers, Lanteigne adds.

“That right there is what I am passionate about and why I want this event to be successful. I have always had it in my heart to help partner local business women with young girls who need help and guidance when it comes to choosing what post secondary school to attend, what courses to take, or even what volunteer positions to take to help them with the career arts they plan to pursue,” she says. “That so many business women have stepped up to mentor these young girls one on one for years as they select high school, college, and university courses to follow the careers of their dreams warms my heart and brings tears to my eyes.”

“This is exactly what I was hoping I could be a part of – bridging the gap between the generations of females in our community in the business world.”

She hopes each girl will take from this event clearer sense of what career path she wants to pursue in the next few years, and will have a clear understanding of the first few steps in how to get it.

With the help of a mentor, and the SIC club in general, they hope this one-day workshop will make a difference in the lives of these girls, and the hundreds of girls they hope to help in years to come.

“I wish there had been something like this for me when I was making these difficult career decisions,” she added.

Registration forms are available via email to amylanteigne@shaw.ca, and should be filled out by Nov. 1.