We love the corndogs, live music, and livestock, but we have found something extra special that our locally loved Stanislaus County Fair has to offer! We sat down with the Marketing and Communication’s Director for Stanislaus County Fair, Adrenna Alkhas, to get the 4-1-1 on Stan Co Fair’s EmpowHER Lounge and why it’s the perfect tool for a young girl’s success. Check out what she had to say about the impact the program is making!
What is the EmpowHER Lounge?
“It’s mostly about empowering young girls and teaching them about how to speak up and work better together with other females. For example, I think that starting now, women have to learn now about how to manage toxic work environments and how to deal with that. Because personally, I didn’t know how to deal with that when I got out of college. I was kind of this naive person, thinking that everybody wants the best for you but that’s not the case. What I have come to find out is that as women, we are our worst enemies. We are constantly bickering, don’t have each other’s backs, and that’s not all women; it’s just some. With women, they are very vicious and they do things behind your back, try to undermine you, try to discredit you and it is very damaging to someone’s character when anybody is doing that in the workplace. Being young, you’re impressionable and you’re trying to create a good reputation for yourself for your career. So, how do you not damage that by speaking up against something that is happening to you? Those are some of the topics that we discuss, and we also discuss how to brand yourself properly on social media, etc.”
What inspired you to create the EmpowHER Lounge?
“A lot of it came from talking to my great-grandmother and how she survived the Assyrian genocide. It was not until recently that it really registered. My grandmother talked about herself in the refugee camps with her baby, and how the women in the camps worked together to build a better life for themselves for those six months that they were stuck in the refugee camp. As drastic as it is, I compared war to corporate America. So, if women in my great-grandmother’s refugee camps were able to work together, I don’t understand why we in corporate America, where we have these lavish lifestyles and everything at our fingertips…Why can’t we work better together as women? I mean, there’s room for everybody to grow. Everybody wants to climb that corporate ladder, but at what cost are you willing to climb that ladder? Are you willing to climb it by throwing people under the bus, or are you wanting to climb that ladder by being honest, kind and tough too? Because when you come down that ladder, you’ll have to face all those people that you treated poorly. It’s a full circle, because one day that person could be your boss too.”
What is something new that will be featured at the EmpowHER Lounge this year?
Something that’s new is on Tuesday, July 16th and on Thursday July 18th, we’re partnering with Dr. Viji Sundar from Stan State and she will be teaching this class called “Girls Who Code”. So we will be touching on coding, STEM, and engineering for women in the workplace. Hailey from Soaps by Hailey will also be speaking this year on July 19th. We have also partnered this year with the MJC Group called “She Became” and they will be doing some workshops on July 20th and 21st. The rest of the speakers are from the WELL Women Leadership Organization. This year we are excited to have Posh Photo Booth there every day, in addition to charging stations where the girls can lounge and charge their phones, and we will have empowering books from the Stanislaus County Library for the girls to look at.”
What age group is the EmpowHER Lounge for?
“The EmpowHER Lounge is available to ages 16 and up.”
Is the EmpowHER Lounge free?
“Yes, the EmpowHER Lounge is free with the price of fair admission.
Girls who register early online at stancofair.com to reserve a seat for the talks will also be entered into a drawing for Great America tickets and two winners will be chosen.”
Where is the EmpowHER Lounge located this year?
“This year, the Lounge will be located across from the VFW Booth next to the Baby Care Center in the Western Building.”
What time is the EmpowHER Lounge open?
“Monday-Friday 5:00 pm-9:00 pm, Saturday and Sunday 2:00pm-9:00pm.”
What does the Fair hope to achieve with the EmpowHER Lounge?
“Giving young girls an opportunity to do other things at the Fair. There is an educational component at the Fair, so we’re trying to incorporate that aspect and we created the EmpowHER Lounge with the idea in mind of educating young girls as another educational component.”
For more information about the EmpowHER Lounge and daily speakers featured, please visit http://stancofair.com/empowher-lounge/ to register. Like the Stanislaus County Fair on Facebook and follow @stancofair on Instagram for updates on the upcoming fair season that runs from July 12-21, 2019.