NeW Empowerment Forum: Grow Your Skills and Positively Impact Your Campus

Wish you could more effectively persuade your peers to listen to independent points of view? When it can seem like most young people are progressive, how can you win over your peers’ hearts and minds? Do you want to be a positive force on your campus, welcoming more individuals into the conservative movement?

Are you ready for the transition from student to professional? Have you honed your interview skills to secure the job of your dreams? Can you write a clear memo or project plan? Want to brand yourself like a boss?

Join the Network of enlightened Women for an afternoon and evening of professional development workshops and practical skills training. Topped off with an inspirational and informative keynote soon to be announced, where you will learn about an important issue and how you can make a difference.

Enhance your skills with these strategy sessions for success. Educate yourself on an issue that is affecting millions of people. Grow your network. Enjoy time with other female college students from across North Carolina (and beyond for those of you willing to make the trip). Leave this forum more equipped, confident, and ready to lead as a positive voice for conservative principles.

For more information and to invite your friends, please visit our Facebook event page. RSVP today here and join us in Charlotte, NC. There are travel scholarships and lodging accommodations available, so please note in your registration if you are interested.

NeW Empowerment Forum

Grow Your Skills and Positively Impact Your Campus

Maggiano’s Little Italy, 4400 Sharon Rd. Charlotte, NC 28211

1:30pm – 1:45pm Registration

2:00pm – 2:15pm Welcome and Introductions

2:15pm – 3:15pm Practice Makes Perfect: Mock Interviews

Speaker: Katy (Ranville) Gambella, Network Engagement Manager, Talent Market

As you embark on your career journeys, the dreaded interview can be a hurdle that causes anxiety and stress. Gambella will discuss practical tips and tricks for how to prepare and master interviews. In addition, attendees will practice interviewing and receive feedback for how to improve and hone your interviewing skills.

3:15pm – 4:00pm Communications Made Easy: Present Your Best Self in Person and in Print

Speakers: Amber Downer, Vanessa Rivera

When making the transition into the professional world, how you present yourself matters, both in person and in writing. Hear the common mistakes students and young professionals make as they start their careers – so you can avoid them! Learn specific tools to make sure you present your best self and position yourself for success.

4:00pm – 4:15pm Break

4:15pm – 5:45pm Represent 101: Public Speaking and Media Training

Speaker: Inez Feltscher Stepman, Senior Policy Analyst, Independent Women’s Forum

As conservatives, libertarians, and independent minded women, we are frequently questioned for what we believe. Learn how to talk about our principles in a positive way that persuades others and welcomes more individuals into our movement. Learn specific ways to become a better, more effective public speaker – even if you’re an introvert and hate speaking in front of people. Grow your confidence and use this training during your next class presentation, job interview, and to recruit new individuals to the conservative movement. Stepman will share her tips and tricks from her tv appearances and answer your questions about how to improve your presentation skills.

5:45pm – 6:00pm Break

6:00pm – 6:30pm Reception

6:30pm – 8:00pm A Discussion with a True Independent Woman

Speaker: Inez Feltscher Stepman, Senior Policy Analyst, Independent Women’s Forum

Enjoy dinner as Stepman will lead a conversation on everything from education policy to feminism. Ask questions about Stepman’s journey working in the movement and standing up as a conservative woman in the media.

8:30pm – 10:30pm Painting with a Twist

Continue the fun and join us for a FREE painting class. Together with the other forum attendees, we will paint “Sole Sisters” on canvas – and you can take yours back to your dorm room, apartment, or house!


Check out the biographies of our dynamic speakers:

Amber Downer serves as NeW’s Program Manager, focusing primarily on leading and growing NeW’s Professional Network. Downer’s passion for conservatism started in 1992, when her mother took her to her first political rally for George H.W. Bush’s re-election, and she has been a strong advocate for conservative principles ever since. During college, Downer worked on the reelection campaign for President George W. Bush and then, the following year, served as an intern in the White House Office of Media Affairs. After graduating from college, Downer worked in the Bush Administration as a Political Appointee in the Commerce Department and then as a staffer in the White House Office of Communications for Policy and Planning. After President Bush left office, Downer moved several times with her Marine husband and worked on various political campaigns as a consultant and fundraiser. Downer is excited to be a part of NeW after taking several years off of work to care for her three children.

Inez Feltscher Stepman is a senior policy analyst at the Independent Women’s Forum. She has worked in education policy for seven years, and prior to joining IWF was the Director of Education and Workforce Development at the American Legislative Exchange Council. Stepman’s research focuses on educational freedom, school choice, and the cultural impact of empowering parents with control over their children’s educations.

Stepman is the author of numerous policy papers, including the annually-compiled Report Card on American Education, which ranks the states across six aspects of education policy. Her thoughts on education policy have been published in numerous outlets, such as Washington Examiner, Orange County Register, The Hill, and others, and she frequently testifies as an expert in state legislatures across the country.

She also a senior contributor to The Federalist, where she writes on subjects ranging from feminism to fashion, and the Thursday editor of BRIGHT, a women’s daily newsletter.

Inez is a proud first-generation American. She holds a B.A. in Philosophy from the University of California, San Diego, and a J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law. She lives with her husband, puggle, and haughty cat Thaddeus Kosciuszko in Washington, D.C.

Katy (Ranville) Gambella is Talent Market’s Network Engagement Manager. Katy began her career at the Institute for Humane Studies and later joined the Cato Institute. Starting at Cato as a Research Assistant, Katy quickly realized her comparative advantage (and preference!) is to work with people and not to do policy research. During her participation in the Koch Associate Program, she moved into her role in Student Programs, where she spent nearly four years recruiting, hiring, and supervising more than 300 interns. Katy is a Midwesterner at heart and a very recently adopted Southerner. She was raised in Michigan, where her family still lives, and studied Economics at Hillsdale College. After graduation she spent seven years in Washington, DC. She just moved to Charlotte, NC to be with her fiancé.

Vanessa Rivera is the Network of enlightened Women’s Campus Program Associate. Originally from West Palm Beach, Florida, she founded a NeW chapter while a student at Florida Gulf Coast University. When she is not helping NeW grow on college campuses, you can find her at the beach or traveling.



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