Speakers lecture on benefits of empowerment

By Brittany Chavez

Empowerment coaches and speakers Margalit Ward and Monika Zands
shared practical tools to transform women’s lives, re-ignite their
passion and gain self-awareness at last Tuesday’s hour-long
workshop titled, “Balancing Motherhood.”

About 30 Cal Poly Pomona female students, staff and faculty
members attended the workshop hosted by the Violence Prevention
& Women’s Resource Center in the Centaurus room of the Bronco
Student Center.

Although “Balancing Motherhood” was especially catered to moms,
given the title, the overall purpose of the workshop was to empower
all women to take ownership of their lives.

“Be in the driver’s seat,” said Ward during her presentation.
“When we give someone else our power, we lose the power in
ourselves to change and create the life we want to be living. With
the power within us, we can create what we want in our lives.”

Ward and Zands said there are four key steps to create a more
balanced life: clarity, action, support and appreciation.

The attendees were also provided handouts, which have steps for
creating an “open-hearted mind-set,” as well as the four key

Ward and Zands shared main ideas with the help of a PowerPoint
presentation and also engaged the audience in verbal exercises to
create a more comfortable vibe.

Those who participated in the exercises were asked to tell the
person next to them: what she would like to improve, an action step
toward making a change, a way of supporting the action and how she
will give or receive appreciation for the week.

Monique Santy, a fourth-year sociology student, took part in the
exercise and realized that she needs to be more positive in order
to gain better control of her life.

“I think this workshop was great; I gained so much insight,”
said Santy. “By keeping positive, I’m able to take my time and
accomplish more. I need to appreciate the people who support me and
support myself.”

Fourth-year Psychology student and full-time worker Carina Ruiz
agrees with Santy, and although Ruiz isn’t a mom, she still finds
herself often stressed out.

“Work and school takes a negative toll on me sometimes,” said
Ruiz. “I get overwhelmed, but I need to remember to relax and
appreciate all that I do for myself. I need to value myself

According to Zands, another important piece in creating
self-balance is to love yourself.

“When you reflect on what you love, it really gives you the
opportunity to reflect on what brings you joy and fulfillment in
your life,” said Zands. “When you’re happy and smiling, you give
people the invitation that allows people to connect to you.”

Ward and Zands have been working together for 11 years and have
also earned their masters in spiritual psychology at the University
of Santa Monica.

Ward is also the co-founder of Get Up Girl, a community of women
that offers coaching groups, retreats and workshops to better
balance women’s lives.

The two women also speak to parents at many elementary schools,
middle schools and high schools, and have recently began speaking
at colleges.

Ward has an older son in college, and Zands has young children,
so they wanted to branch into both of the educational levels their
children are in.

“I have two children and a wonderful husband, and through them,
I learn how to become a better person, mother, and coach to
others,” said Zands. “I want to influence as many lives as I

For more information on Ward and Zands and their motivational
workshops, visit their website at www.getupgirl.org.

Speakers lecture on benefits of empowerment

Ana Brenda Ibarra / The Poly Post

Speakers lecture on benefits of empowerment

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