Pat yourselves on the back; do this:

This is Ladies Night received this kind request from Katie Brooks, a May 'o9 graduate from William Jewell College. We think it's worth our while to give ourselves a nice pat on the back, and you should too:

"Never before has the United States seen a time period as the one we are living in now. While the primary focus currently seems to be on gas prices, the falling economy and the situation in the Middle East I'd like to focus on something more encouraging and refreshing.

In 2008 we saw our first serious female presidential candidate. The gender wage has been closing (albeit very slowly) over the past decade. More women hold positions as CEO's, small business owners and politicians than ever before in the history of America. "After World War II the civilian labor force participation for women was a paltry 32%. Today however, six decades later that rate has climbed in excess of 70%" (businessnet.com). Also, of mothers with children between the ages of 6 and 17, an astonishing 77 percent are in the labor force (Carlton Davis).
In contrast, eighty five years ago women didn't have the right to vote. Fifty years ago it was unusual for a single woman to own property. Thirty five years ago the majority of employed women were employed as either secretaries or nurses.

Today, things look vastly different. At the brink of the 21st century women in the United States have access to more and greater opportunities than ever previously. These opportunities are a product of the tireless work of women who came before.

It wasn't until the 1970's that the Ivy League and many other colleges became coed so women could attend. Today we are members of the first generation of students who considered college mandatory and unquestionable. Many parents of today's generation attended college but often were the first in their families to do so and weren't raised with the knowledge that they would undoubtedly attend.

Today educated women are entering into a world with vast, exciting and endless opportunities like never before. With the infinite possibilities the choice and path to choose may sometimes seem intimidating, frightening, exciting, overwhelming… [insert your favorite adjective here!] This though, brings me to the point of this unusual diatribe.

[As graduating or soon to be graduating students,] you have recently entered or are soon entering into a world of unlimited opportunities. How does this makes you feel? Are you intimidated? Nervous? Ready for graduate school? Law school? Preparing to travel? Already employed? Moving back home? Married? Pregnant? Excited? Are you getting the idea…?

Here's the deal; I want you to visually portray your interpretation of how you feel about entering into the real world. Specifically, I want to see your interpretation of yourself and your role, as well as how you fit in to the world today. This may be done with a photograph, a collage, a painting or drawing, a photoshoped image, etc. The image may include words or symbols, pictures, people, etc… You are the creative director!

Here are the guidelines:

The visual interpretation is limited to one image in JPEG format. (The higher quality or 'dpi' the better.)
Image should be submitted to brooksgirlproject@gmail.com
Date for completion is May 31st 2009
Image submission MUST include name, age, hometown, college attended, major, and current job (if applicable).
An optional addition is a statement or explanation of your image… feel free to leave the interpretation up to the audience though.

My name Katie Brooks, I'm 22 and will be graduating this May from William Jewell College in Liberty, MO. This is not a school assignment, just a passion project. I want to be able to share what we, as young, intelligent woman feel about our situation in the world. The ultimate goal is to publish a book with the images of young ambitious females who reside all over the United States. Therefore by submitting your image you agree and to the potential use of it in published form. I will retain the rights to include or not include the image in the book. The personal information included in the book would be the same as listed above minus your hometown and employer (I'm simply using that for demographic purposes). Should you have any questions feel free to email me at the same address; brooksgirlproject@gmail.com, and I will get back to you promptly."

Feel free to email us or Katie directly with any questions or comments on this fun opportunity.

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