Organization founded to empower women

By Cheyene Miller

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Student government member Julia Vega wanted to give women at UK a place to feel empowered and share ideas with other women from different backgrounds. This led her and her friend Chanel Friday to found “Reaching out to Empower Ambitious Ladies.”

“We want to empower the women on campus and in our community,” said Vega, vice president and co-founder of REAL. “We also want to build leadership skills through service.”

Vega said the organization has weekly meetings that are usually held Thursdays at 6 or 6:30, with varying time and locations.

“We get together and we bounce ideas off of each other on what kind of events we can do, and how we can reach out to other women,” said Vega, who noted that so far the organization has had two bake sales and created greeting cards for children at UK Medical Center.

According to Vega, the organization is hosting an information session on Saturday at 2 p.m. in the gallery of the William T. Young Library, where they will be featuring Theta Nu Xi, a multicultural sorority, to take part in the information and meet-in-greet session.

The organization is also planning to hold a bra pong competition on Wednesday at 6 p.m. in the Student Center patio.

According to Vega, the organization does not collect dues from its 13 members as of now, but it received $1,500 from the Student Government Association.

Kathleen Smith, SGA Appropriations and Revenue committee chair, said that “the committee came to this decision because we felt as if REAL was an organization that embodied the purpose of the Student Government Association. REAL is the very first recipient of the Multicultural Inclusion Grant, a new type of grant that was developed this semester.”

According to Smith, the grant is awarded to any registered student organization that promotes diversity and multicultural inclusion on campus, something Vega said is one of the main goals of REAL.

“We’re constantly getting new people,” said Vega, who noted that the organization encourages diversity and welcomes women from all walks of life. “One thing we do have in common is that we’re women.”

Vega said that the organization also intends to encourage women to take leadership roles in society.

“In this society a lot of women aren’t heard, and a lot of women aren’t able to fit leadership roles,” Vega said. “We support each other and each other’s ideas.”

Vega said that students can learn more about the organization by following them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and OrgSync.