Third annual Lee women's event Worthy Now emphasizes empowerment
Last Thursday, Oct. 19, over 500 female students gathered for the third annual Worthy Now.
A product of the collective effort of Residential Life and Housing, the Student Development office, the Counseling Center and Athletics and Academic Events, Worthy Now centers around encouraging the women on campus.
Steph Ebisi, a senior health science major, attended the event and was reminded of her worth and identity.
“Worthy Now is very beneficial to women here on campus because it helps us see through our brokenness and believe that we can still make it through life, no matter what is happening in the present,” Ebisi said. “And that we are worthy of everything good even if we cannot see it in the moment.”
Students, faculty and staff were welcomed into Pangle Hall for the ceremony, which kicked off with worship. Sarah Cantrell, a Cleveland native and Lee alum, then shared her story of owning her worth as a woman. After the event, attendees gathered for desserts and refreshments made by various female faculty and staff across Lee’s campus.
Tolu Sofeso, a senior biochemistry major, said she learned she is worthy of love regardless of her present circumstance.
“So I learned that I am worthy of love, and regardless of what I might go through, if I can find God and hold unto Him, I’ll be fine,” Sofeso said. “I also learned from the songs that all my shame and loneliness can only be lifted with God’s Grace because He alone is my source.”
The inspiration for Worthy Now as an event was sparked by researcher and storyteller Dr. Brené Brown's book, “The Gift of Imperfections.” The book shed light on the idea of worthiness beginning now, without “prerequisites,” which prompted some Lee students and faculty to start a women's encouragement event on campus.
“When we spend a lifetime trying to distance ourselves from the parts of our lives that don’t fit with who we think we’re supposed to be, we stand outside of our story and hustle for our worthiness by constantly performing, perfecting, pleasing, and proving,” Brown said in “The Gift of Imperfections.”
Brown goes on to say that she places importance on acceptance and perseverance.
“Our sense of worthiness, that critically important piece that gives us access to believing that we are worthy now, right this minute," Brown said in her book. “Worthiness doesn’t have prerequisites.”
This year, Worthy Now focused on the theme, "Created for More." Assistant Director of Residential Life and Housing Morgan Jones serves as a board member for Worthy Now. Jones said she felt this year's event caused many to reflect inward and hopes women left the event feeling empowered to figure out what they are created for.
“Out of all the things I do, this is the event that causes the most personal reflection for me because I don’t think you ever stop asking questions about your worth,” Jones said. “It’s easy to think, ‘Oh, I’ll get out of college and it won’t be an issue anymore or I will not get insecure about certain things.’ But that’s not always the case. My hope is that students leave the event feeling empowered to fill in the blanks of ‘What I am created for?’”