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Lessons from a Century-old Women’s Philanthropic Sisterhood

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Lessons from Womens Sisterhood Pepper MakepeaceRecently I attended the Colorado State Chapter Convention of P.E.O. (Philanthropic Educational Organization). It was an empowering experience and I met a lot of amazing women who are changing the lives of women all over the world.

P.E.O., one of the pioneer societies for women, was founded on January 21, 1869, by seven students at Iowa Wesleyan College in Mount Pleasant, Iowa. Today, P.E.O. has grown from that tiny membership of seven to almost a quarter of a million members in chapters in the United States and Canada. The P.E.O. Sisterhood is passionate about its mission: promoting educational opportunities for women.

The impact this organization has had in the lives of women since 1907 is profound. P.E.O. loans and scholarships totaling well over $199 million have been provided to over 83,000 women.  AND they own a four-year women’s college, Cottey College.

As I processed the depth of information I received over the course of the convention, I was struck by a few universal thoughts that I want to share with you.

  • The seven founding women of P.E.O. followed through on a dream and thus have had profound and lasting impact in the lives of thousands of women all over the world.
[Don’t be afraid to dream big! Who knows where it will take you if you just put it into action?]
  • It takes a lot of courage for a large organization steeped in tradition to make bold changes in order to adapt to the changing needs of women today.
[Change and adaptability show great strength and can be done while still showing respect and gratitude for that which has come before.]
  • The strength and community that comes with sharing ideas and challenges with peers is tremendous.
[Don’t be afraid to ask for help and be willing to share your experience with others so you can lift each other up.]
  • The balance of formality and fun builds a strong foundation from which great things can be accomplished.
[Balance and moderation are key ingredients for true success.]

How can you apply these concepts in your daily life, career, or business?

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