Lisa Benz, NDSU telecommunications analyst, and Ruth Buffalo, a graduate assistant in NDSU's American Indian Public Health Resource Center, were among the first graduates of the Women's Leadership Program to Eastern North Dakota. They are were in a group of 20 women chosen by the Center for Technology and Business' Women's Business Center.
Graduation ceremonies were held Dec. 5.
The six-month program, which began in July, is intended to build a culture of women empowering women in North Dakota by developing personal, professional, community and health leadership skills. A Bush Foundation Leadership Network Grant recently allowed the program to expand to the greater Fargo area.
"I think effective leaders cultivate a sense of purpose by pursuing goals that align with their personal values," said Benz, who notes she helped raise $1,150 for the 4 Luv of Dogs group during her philanthropy challenge as part of the program. "The important part is identifying your purpose, then using that as fuel to become a successful leader."
Buffalo said she gained a strong support network through the program. "The importance of self-care was a common theme throughout the six-month leadership program which was reinforced in the health leadership session," she said. "Often times as women, we tend to take care of everyone 10 times prior to taking care of ourselves. Without our health and well-being, we will not be able to lead."
In her philanthropy challenge, Buffalo and her partner raised $1,785 for North Dakota's March of Dimes.
The North Dakota Women’s Business Center is partially funded by a grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration, with the North Dakota Department of Commerce providing state matching funds.
For more information on the Women's Leadership Program, click here.
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