“Becoming who you most fully are” requires “letting go of people-pleasing,” recognizing and letting go of personal weaknesses and identifying and unleashing strengths and gifts that you have hidden, according to Jill McCormick, writer and speaker.
Encouraging girls to overcome challenges and embrace the power to grow up strong is part of “the Girls Inc. difference,” noted in the organization's "Why Girls Only?" publication.
McCormick is scheduled to speak at the Girls Inc. Women of Vision luncheon, which is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. June 28 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Fort Smith City Center, 700 Rogers Ave. in Fort Smith. Tickets can be obtained through the website, GirlsIncFortSmith.org or by calling (479) 782-0375.
Tickets are $35 each, and corporate sponsorships are available for $500 for a table seating 10. Corporate sponsorships include four tickets to a reception the night before the luncheon. Corporate sponsorships include premier seating at the banquet and corporate recognition.
Tickets for the reception can also be purchased for $15 each. The reception will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at the home of Daniel and Kelly Wilson, 3220 Park Ave. in Fort Smith.
A silent auction and 50/50 drawing will be included as part of the luncheon festivities, according to the Girls Inc. of Fort Smith Facebook page. All funds raised will benefit the organization’s summer programming.
McCormick will discuss “becoming who you most fully are,” she said. She will incorporate the three pillars of Girls Inc., to be strong, smart and bold, she said. It is about “not being scared and just doing it.”
On her blog, JillEMcCormick.com, McCormick writes that she is “all about women and moms who struggle with how to live a grace-filled life in a try-hard world. She shares common-sense grace with the try-hard girl.”
Becoming fully you involves identifying personal strengths and weaknesses, McCormick said. It encompasses letting go of weaknesses and people-pleasing and allows for discovering the gifts you are hiding, she said. Knowing and recognizing what is good within yourself is important.
“We all have different gifts,” McCormick said. “The world needs all these (different) gifts.”
Being smart and knowing your values is also necessary, McCormick said. It is important to have a support structure in place, she said. It is good to have “people who can support us when we don’t feel strong.”
McCormick will “weave in” some of her own personal story, she said. She grew up in the suburbs of Houston, and earned a bachelor of arts in journalism from Texas A&M.
Her career path includes working in professional sports planning events for the Houston Astros Baseball Club and in higher education as the student activities director for the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith, her blog notes. Her unique career path also includes positions in trucking at ABF Freight, in health care at Mercy and in church ministry at her home church in San Antonio, Texas. McCormick blogs that, for her occupation today, she “writes words on the Internet.”
Throughout her work, McCormick, a self-described achiever, has learned to listen to her body, soul and emotions, according to her blog. She has been protected from herself.
In addition to writer and speaker, McCormick is also a wife and mother. Her biography, according to Girls Inc., notes she married her high school sweetheart in 1999 and is mom to two girls, ages 8 and 10.
The Women of Vision luncheon is one of the group’s bigger fundraisers each year, said Amanda Daniels, executive director of Girls Inc. Speakers each year share how to fulfill the group’s mission of being strong, smart and bold.
When planning the upcoming annual luncheon, Daniels said she thought of McCormick, a former Fort Smith resident. She always had a passion for writing, mainly, but also for speaking. Daniels said she follows McCormick on her blog.
“She has lots of inspirational writings,” Daniels said.
Supporters of Girls Inc. assist with special events, and they will serve as hostesses at the Women of Vision luncheon, Daniels said. Each member contributes a minimum annual gift to Girls Inc. Social events are planned throughout the year to get them together. Ultimately, they are all “passionate about Girls Inc.,” Daniels said.
Those supporters will be recognized at the luncheon for “what they do for us year after year,” Daniels said. Anyone interested in joining the group can email Daniels at firstname.lastname@example.org or call Girls Inc.
Monies raised through Supporters of Girls Inc. are designated for future growth, including both building and program expansion, Daniels said.
Girls Inc. partners with local schools to help develop the whole girl, the website states. Through the program, each girl learns to value herself and take risks, as well as discover and develop her inherent strengths, the site notes. Girls are equipped “to navigate gender, economic and social barriers” and become “healthy, educated and independent” women.