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Empowerment seminar aimed at single moms

By Joel Hall

jhall@news-daily.com

Clayton County Commissioner Sonna Singleton, along with the University of Georgia Archway Partnership Program, will sponsor a workshop, next weekend, intended to provide single mothers with tips on coping with the challenges of staying healthy, improving their education, parenting without the help of a spouse, and time management.

The "Empowering Young Women to Success" workshop will take place on March 27 from 9 a.m., to 3 p.m., at the Carl Rhodenizer Recreation Center, located at 3499 Rex Road in Rex. The free workshop will include seminars on dating, employment, education, and health and wellness, as well as presentations from various experts on such topics as career management and involved parenting.

A single mother of seven years herself, Singleton said the seminar will provide women with resources to help them maintain a healthy balance between work life, social life, and raising children.

"Gail Webb [of the Archway Partnership Program] and I have been discussing this for over a year, that this was something we wanted to do," Singleton said. "I am blessed to have eight older sisters. They were there to help me with advice when I got divorced. Everybody doesn't have that family support. These are things we want to share with these young women."

According to Singleton, during the seminar, Gail Chambers, a Morrow-based personal wellness coach, will speak on the topic of "Fueling Your Body for Fitness." Clayton County Human Resources Director Renee Bright and Human Resource Professional Natalie Ringer will give presentations on interviewing skills, finding the right job, resume development, and getting promoted. University of Georgia Department of Lifelong Education Professor Sheneka M. Williams will speak about appropriate dating as a single mother, and Clayton County Public Schools Deputy Superintendent Stefanie Phillips will speak on furthering one's education, as well as effectively approaching school personnel with a concern about one's child.

Singleton added that several nonprofit organizations geared toward assisting women and children will be on site, passing out helpful information.

Clayton Archway Professional Gail Webb said the event falls within the Archway Partnership Program's goal of strengthening communities with the support of the state's university system. She said the workshop will encourage young women to be more involved in their community, and their children's education.

"Education has been a goal for Archway since we came to Clayton County," Webb said. "Last year, we had our Teen Summit and Youth Entrepreneurial Workshop. That all goes under education. The better educated your workforce is, the more attractive it is to industries looking to move into communities.

"There is so much need in the community for young women in the community to be mentors and there is also a need for single mothers to get involved in the schools," she added. "I hope that they [seminar participants] will take away that they are important to the community and that their involvement in the community is important. No matter what their education level or income level is, they can contribute something."

While the seminar is free of charge, registration for the event is required. Free day-care services will be provided for children ages 5 to 12 years old. Lunch will be provided.

To register, e-mail womantosuccess@co.clayton.ga.us or call (770) 603-4148.