In the past, I have attended several of Bay Path University’s (BPU) Women’s Leadership Conference (WLC) however this year was my first time participating as an Exhibitor/Vendor at WLC, “Why Not Me?
It was minutes after the doors opened at 7:30 a.m when I met my first new fan, Geraldine. She told me she loves books and asked me to tell her about Lolita’s Rainy Day. Geraldine purchased Lolita’s Rainy Day for herself and asked me to personally sign the book for her. She gently stated, “I’m keeping it for myself for when you become a famous author.” I now recall her gentle words which make me feel a bit choked up. As Geraldine walked away, she softly uttered, “Keep writing books, Milagros.”
This was only the beginning of a beautiful day surrounded by thousands of AEIOU women (Admirable, Encouraging, Inspiring, Outstanding and Uplifting) who dedicate their lives to empowering other women. This is the beauty of the inner-circle of BPU and the WLC, the reason why it was so important for me to bring it back to where it all began…
As many of you know, Lolita’s Rainy Day began as part of a course at BPU where I had to create a project I was passionate about and put it into action in the community. I focused on financial literacy and children, an important lifetime lesson not often taught at homes or schools. For the project, Lolita’s Rainy Day came to fruition in the form of a scrapbook! Many months later, the actual book was self-published.
Sharing my story with the women I met at the WLC was surreal. They praised my creativity and gave me their support. Others heard “through the grapevine” of my story and came to the table to meet me. They all agreed that children need to learn financial literacy as early as possible, and loved the idea of Lolita’s Rainy Day.
Many of the women who purchased Lolita’s Rainy Day were mothers, grandmothers, aunts, and teachers. Some admitted they didn’t have young children but wanted the book for themselves, just like Geraldine. Some purchased the book to donate it to a school, daycare or a children’s hospital. Lauren, a college student was eager to read it to a group of children at a local community organization where she volunteers. It was heartwarming listening of the different ways the women plan to share or promote the book.
While I am forever grateful and appreciative for the number of books sold at the WLC, it does not compare to the priceless outpour of love and support I received from the women. From those who shared their personal financial experiences with me, to the ones who gave me valuable advice and words of encouragement to continue bringing financial literacy awareness to children, I thank them wholeheartedly. Each and every one of them are amazing and appreciated!
I cannot end this post without giving a special shout-out to Dr. Carol A. Leary, President of Bay Path University and Dr. Heather Bushey, my former advisor, who have been extremely supportive of me on this journey. And to Emma S. Ford, my best friend, you rock! I’m so glad that we were able to share this wonderful experience together. By the way, Rita Moreno gave a powerful speech, and she is even more beautiful in person. Kudos to all the AEIOU Women, and this includes you, Jean Canosa Albano!
April is Financial Literacy Month and I’ll be sharing many financial tips with everyone. Be sure to subscribe to my emails so you don’t miss out!
Finally, don’t forget that it’s never too late to start saving, and that, “Every penny counts!”