Dr. Judith Wright and The Women’s Symposium

I’m still basking in the afterglow of the Women’s Symposium I attended last week.  It took place at a brand-new place near me that offers a new way of, Shift Coworking. The Women’s Symposium – Her Story was hosted by Women’s Wholehearted Wednesdays, a group of local women, who somehow I never met before.  The guest speaker was Judith Wright, who became my friend when we met in the 8th grade.

[tweetthis]So, a new place, new people, and a bit of nostalgia.  What could be better?[/tweetthis]

First the Place:

Shift Coworking is a place where people who work from home like me can go if they like to surround themselves with other creatives, entrepreneurs, and freelancers. Besides a shared work space, Shift Coworking provides meeting rooms, a kitchen, WiFi, free parking and it’s within walking distance to downtown Crystal Lake. And it’s right next to the Food Pantry, where just began volunteering.  Work for a while, visit with colleagues, and hop over to the Food Pantry and help teach a cooking class.

Besides a place to work, Shift Coworking offers spaces to rent for events like book club, lunches, and groups like Women’s WholeHearted Wednesdays. Here are a few photos I took of the women in the meeting space.


Women’s Symposium – Her Story: A New Formula for Success in Living, Loving, and Leading

Women’s Wholehearted Wednesdays (WWW) was formed by Women’s Empowerment Group, a group of women who meet on Wednesday to support each other.  They help lift each other up and hold each other accountable; push them when they need it. Ultimately the purpose of WWW is to help each woman reach her full potential be it spiritually, socially, career-wise, and physically. Molly Hillig Rodriguez, a Chicago relationship coach is one of the founding members of WWW.  Molly along with these ladies organized the Women’s Symposium:


Nancy and Beverly work for McHenry Community College.  Through Education to Empowerment, they awarded $168,000 in scholarships to 21 area women since 2013.

Dr. Judith Wright, aka my friend Judy

It’s easier to talk about Judith by listing all her accomplishments.  She has so many, most of which involve helping others. She and her husband, Bob, co-founded Wright Graduate University for the Realization of Human Potential.  Their website states the mission statement as:

[to prepare and develop] transformational leaders and coaches through dynamic distance education. WGU integrates the most effective human emergence technologies and relevant research to cultivate scholar practitioners who bring out the best in themselves and those they lead and coach. Members of the WGU community consciously engage in their own transformation and leadership as they coach and support others to unleash their potential for vocational and personal fulfillment and success, the advancement of humanity, and conscious, sustainable living on the planet.

But Dr. Judith is my high school buddy. She and I both grew up in a houseful of girls. We were both blackballed from National Honor Society because of our outspoken opinion. (I think that’s why.  It could have been because of that troubling short story I wrote for English class.) She and I were both in the marching band. I defended Judy when my sister snarked about her class upending Judy’s bid for Student Council president. (You can read about it on Once a Little Girl. Judy was my maid of honor when we were both 19.  She was the friend I visited when I moved to Chicagoland. We are so comfortable together that I once told her, “Being with you is as good as being alone,” and she knew that was a high compliment.

Dr. Judith squeezed my hand as she took center-stage at the Women’s Symposium.  She encouraged everyone to be seen, to be heard, and to be known.  Dr. Judith went through Her history and showed some slides of her high school days.  There I was, sitting right next to Judy in our Student Council picture. Dr. Judith pointed me out in the picture and in the crowd.  As always, I felt seen.
Afterwards Judy hugged me for a long moment and introduced me to a few of her peeps.  We promised to make time for each other.  As always, I felt heard and known.  Here we are:

I included links Education to Empowerment, Wright Graduate University, and Shift Coworking in the body of this blogpost. If you’re interested in learning more about Women’s Wholehearted Wednesdays, contact Molly@mollyhillig.com