On Saturday, May 12, 2012, Marga Fripp was the featured guest speaker at the event ‘Between Women’ organized by the Arlington, Virginia Community Outreach Program. The event was held at the Gates of Ballston Community Center. The main themes of the program dwelled on self-defense class, arts and crafts project, healthy relationships, and how to take care of you. The program was attended by more than 50 participants. The majority of the participants were from the Hispanic community.
In her speech, Marga shared her inspiring life experiences beginning with her journey to the US and the challenges she faced in the processes of integration into the US community as well as the coping mechanisms she used to become successful at the level she is today. From the lessons that she learned from her own experiences, she stressed on the importance of language and education as a vehicle of integration. And therefore she urged everyone to begin learning the English language as a first step to enhance their communication skills and eliminate the stumbling block to integration.
Marga further talked about the works and programs of Empowered Women International. She explained to the participants that the program is there to empower immigrant, refugee and low-income artist women through entrepreneurship training, mentoring, coaching and micro-enterprise services to make them self-reliant and self-sufficient. She also stressed that to be enrolled in the program a woman should have creativity and talent in art (paining, jewelry making, dancing…) must be passionate about it, and motivated to transform dreams into reality and to change the talent/passion into business. Following a detailed presentation of the program, Marga invited one of EWI’s graduate, Velma Crawford, to make a brief presentation in sharing her own experiences.
Velma spoke about how she first came in contact with EWI with her own passion and hobby of making her grandmother’s aprons. She further shared her life changing experience by mentioning how the entrepreneur training and personalized mentoring with EWI has helped her transform her passion into business. She is now a successful business woman selling her aprons and is now giving back to the community by donating money out of the proceeds of her sales to support other causes.