This semester, the Women’s Center is hosting The Single Mom’s Success Forum, a series of eight workshops geared toward single mothers here at Weber State University as well as in the community. The series will run from Sept. 15 to Nov. 10 on Thursdays from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.
Dorothy Hill, women’s advocate for the Women’s Center and coordinator of the event, explained the need for the workshop. Hill said that while she has worked in the center for a short two months, she has noticed a large number of single moms that could benefit from the workshop.
“Because school is quite the transition for single mothers, this workshop is designed to give them practical techniques to help adjust to life as a single mother, come to school, and receive some empowerment,” Hill said.
She explained the workshop has been offered as an educational service in the past and has evolved over the years. Hill said the two fundamental goals of the forum are to help women have a more stable home life and embrace the idea of becoming self-reliant.
Rather than lecture-based, the classes will be activity oriented with a focus on goal setting. “At the end of the eight weeks, the intention is to have developed four practical goals from a certain area of life,” Hill said.
The last session will be a graduation and celebration, where Hill said that she hopes they will feel proud of the fact that they are single moms. Each class will have presenters from the university as well as the community.
LaNae Taylor is not only a freshman here at WSU, but also a single mother of a 3-year-old daughter. Taylor said she is excited for the success forum in hopes that it will help her with the challenges she faces every day, such as time, balancing and getting homework done.
“I’m looking forward to being able to better myself, know more, and feel stronger as an individual,” Taylor said. “It will help me be able to be the great mom that my daughter needs and to set an example for her. Women can do anything as long as we stay focused and stay in the right path to get us where we want to be.”
Taylor said she is really looking forward to the class on healthy relationships and hopes to benefit from the information that will be taught.
“I haven’t always had healthy relationships in my life,” Taylor said. “I know I’ll be able to learn a lot in that class and apply things to my own relationships that I have now and ones in the future.”
Dr. Randy Chatelain, WSU professor of child and family studies, is the featured presenter for the healthy relationships class on Oct. 13 that will focus on building and maintaining positive relationships.
“I have a presentation that basically focuses on the idea that the greatest power in life is the power to choose and the most basic choice is between positive energy and negative energy, or degrees of positive and negative,” Chatelain said. “I don’t want that to have to be an accidental journey.”
As a child and family therapist, he explained he has the greatest admiration and respect for single parents and for what they are trying to do.
“I can’t imagine doing this alone without my wife Pam,” he said. “I know there are a lot of things I couldn’t do if I didn’t have a partner. I have such great respect for these women who not only are surviving, but they are coming up here to better themselves, to get an education, and to make their future brighter.”
Chatelain has used this presentation in many of his classes and explained how his message is core to all relationships in life. He hopes that the women in attendance will take away something important from his message.
“I want them to go away with hope, with tools, and with some power to make those choices,” Chatelain said. “We have the power to choose and we have to exercise that on a daily basis. I want them to go away with that feeling of hope, with power, and the knowledge that they have that choice.”
Some of the other presenters featured in the workshop are Director of the WSU Women’s Center Carol Merrill, Director of the Center for Grieving Children Barbara Norris and Coordinator of the WSU Wellness Center Hanalee Hawkins.