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I Attended a Women’s Economic Empowerment Conference – Here’s What Happened I Attended a Women’s Economic Empowerment Conference – Here’s What Happened

This past weekend I attended the Nerdy Girl Academy in San Bernardino. This academy is a women’s economic empowerment conference held for women in the Inland Empire, hosted by Monica Stockhausen. This conference is put on because women in the Inland Empire are recognized as the head of household, meaning that they provide the most income to their families. Through Monica’s research, we learned that women, specifically in this area, make cents of what a white male makes for the exact same positions. Monica expressed that we are in a “state of emergency,” because “when a woman is in poverty, everyone is in poverty.” This conference is meant to not only develop women personally and professionally, but also make women more competitive in the U.S. job market. 

(Photo courtesy of Dianna Caal)

The conference began with a strong entrance of having us learn a mantra in which we declared that we value ourselves, and understand that we have the power to do anything we set out for. We were reminded that our words are powerful; and that we must ensure we are feeding ourselves and creating a mindset that fuels us with power and affirmation to be able to push through anything life tries to throw at us. We then got to meet our other Nerdy Girl sisters which was so exciting since we knew we were all about to go through a transformational experience together. We ended the night by practicing our elevator pitches and tried to perfect our introductions for when we meet powerful and influential people. We learned that we must always be prepared so others can see our value and be ready to invest in us as well. 

The second day was dedicated to personal development, so classes were based off of finding our true identity, and going through our emotions. The first speaker, Kindra Davenport, a licensed psychologist spoke about being the creator of our lives, and how we can design our lives in whatever way we’d like. What stood out to me most was the idea of protecting our energy and not allowing anyone to hurt what we’ve worked so hard to build within ourselves. Destiny Muse was the last speaker for the day and taught us how to go through and experience our emotions rather try to surpass or disregard them. We screamed, cried, laughed and broke down walls we had built inside ourselves. Personally, while I was writing a letter to my future self, I was able to find a negative and hurtful mindset I ingrained in myself and was able to tear it down. I now believe in myself again and know that I am worthy of any dream I have and feel fully confident in going after it. 

(Photo from Unsplash)


Sunday was dedicated to professional development and taught us how to maximize our value in the actual job market. We attended classes in which we enhanced our online presence via Linkedin, and learned how to finance ourselves and a business. For lunch, we had the opportunity to meet and network with major powerhouse women that either work for major companies or have established and run their own businesses successfully. Meeting these women, and then listening to them on the panel afterwards, was so inspiring as we saw how they had to fight for their roles and positions as women in the U.S. job market. The fact that we got to be in the same room as such strong and powerful women was truly an honor. I know my Nerdy Girl sisters and I all tried to take advantage and spoke with many of these women. The influencers afterwards shared that they had prepared gifts for Nerdy Girls that had stood out to them and offered gift bags, mentorships and even internships. Personally, I got the opportunity to meet Milan Zoe, founder and CEO of Laniland Productions and after speaking about rebranding, now will have the opportunity to work with her team and focus on rebranding her merchandise. 

(Photo courtesy of Dianna Caal)

Lastly, we closed out the academy by attending our graduation dinner Sunday night. At first, the thought of holding an actual graduation after only three days seemed silly, but after going through this experience, I felt as though I had become a completely new person. I had grown so much mentally and built my skill set so much within those quick three days. Overall, I 100% recommend everyone attending this conference. I have always been intrigued by women empowerment conferences, but something I know that can only be offered by this specific one is the sisterhood. I know I will have these girls by mind side forever and I am so thankful for the network, and the family, it has given me. I have all my friends and actual sisters ready to sign up for the next one in July 2020!

Dianna Caal-Requena

UC Riverside '20

21 year old studying Marketing at UC Riverside! I love expressing myself through writing and coming up with creative, new ideas. I'm always open to listening to everyone's unpopular opinions and spread some positive vibes while I'm at it!
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