MERRILLVILLE — Some 100 women attended the first Real.Strong.Girls. Strong Women Leadership retreat Friday afternoon.

It included breakout sessions, along with an after-hours networking event.

Real.Strong.Girls is an initiative of Lake Area United Way. The retreat was designed to give women in Lake County the tools to improve their financial, career and personal lives and make 2019 their best year yet.

Proceeds from the event went toward Real.Strong.Girls, programming which helps young girls in the community gain self-esteem and confidence.

The breakout sessions focused on a variety of areas in women’s daily lives including work, finances and self-care.

Megan Sykes, of Lake Area United Way, said they decided to have the retreat because so many things fall on women and “they need to put themselves first.”

“We want women to focus on themselves to make this the best year yet,” Sykes said. “The breakout sessions we offered help the women think about finances, mental health and how to deal with advancements in a career. We want to make things easier for women.”

“It’s the start of a new year and this retreat is a great opportunity to learn some tips on how to keep all those New Year’s resolutions like organizing your finances, getting that promotion or living a healthier life,” said Lisa Daugherty, president and CEO of Lake Area United Way.

Sykes added that she believed it was important for women to meet other women in the community.

“This helps women learn from other people,” Sykes said.


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