Awareness event a success to all who attended

In honor of World AIDS Day, Big Bend Cares called women of all ages to participate in Its a She Thang—–Transitioning Girls Into Women. The event, which was hosted by WCTV producer Dadrian Robinson, took place at the Leon County Health Departments Richardson Lewis building on Saturday.

The program specifically targeted women ranging from late high school to college age. However, women of all ages benefited from messages projected.

Really, everybody was accepted because age doesnt make you grown, said Sabrina Morelus, a Big Bend Cares intern. You have some older women who are still doing young girls things.

Refuge House representative Melissa Comeau kicked off the event with an informative speech on the true meaning of sexual assault and abuse.

When most people think of sexual assault, they think of someone hiding out in the bushes waiting to attack, Comeau said. That is actually least likely to happen because victims usually know their attackers.

Following Comeau, motivational speaker Merv Mattair took an interactive approach offering insight on the males perspective. He elaborated specifically on relationships and womens self worth.

Men are visual creatures, Mattair said. But its going to take a lot more than nice hips and a pretty face to keep him.

The audience was able to hear first-hand how much of a hindrance lack of guidance and self worth can be. Domestic abuse victim, Shannon Love gave a testimony of her near death experience that touched the crowed.

I was almost in tears while listening to her story, said Morelus.

For some, Loves story was inspirational. Shannon was one of my favorite speakers, said Tirell Wilkerson, graduate social work student from Tallahassee. With her testimony, she showed young women that despite your background, you can still overcome and survive.

About half way through the program, those in attendance enjoyed refreshments, conversation and a list of short films pertaining to HIV/AIDS.

Preceding refreshments, guests were introduced to the final speaker. Dana Dennard, a psychology professr at Florida A&M, gave a holistic reality check on life.

He spoke on relationships and the importance of understanding ones self.

One of the laws of life is the relationship between men and women, Dennard said. They understand and experience the world differently.

While discussing relationships love became the next topic of discussion. The professor went into great detail about the true meaning of this word.

Love is not a feeling, Dennard said. Love is actions that show commitment to the great good.

This way of viewing the notion of love enlightened and caught the attention of guests.

He gave me a different prospective on what love is, Wilkerson said. Some women are under the impression that love is an emotion or feeling.

With all the work put into organizing this event, the Big Bend Cares staff was pleased with the turnout.

I felt the speakers were great, Morelus said. Everyone offered something eye opening and the crowd was engaged.