Project Grow Graduate, Missy Brigham, shares her testimony below. This piece was read by Missy at the Indianapolis Project Grow Graduation Ceremony.
Tonight I graduate from PTT and I join a family of Alumni of some of the most amazing women
I have had the pleasure to meet. I am proud to call them my forever family because who are we
without those that have touched our lives in a way that can only bring out the very best of who
we are and who we are to become. This sounds like a family to me.
This experience was a process that was a necessity to my personal growth. This feeling started at
the very first meeting I attended. As I listened to Samantha’s testimony and vision for women
just like you and just like me. I knew this was something I wanted to be a part of.
There are several things I was inspired by: the modules, the networking, the speakers, the panels,
the mentors, and the roundtables.
There was one round table in particular I enjoyed because it was a time to share experiences with
other women that involved conflict in the workplace or life and the way we handled these
moments. We discussed what we learned from the experience, because while conflict is
uncomfortable it is still a time to learn and grow from.
We had one member that discussed a conflict regarding sexual harassment in a male dominated
office. I don’t remember all the details but I do remember how she handled it and I think these
are the actions that set her apart.
They had an all staff meeting that left her angry and boiling by the end of the day. She left work
that day keeping her cool and her words to herself. By taking these thoughts home with her and
sleeping on it, she gave herself an opportunity to process what had been said so she could offer a
response to each infraction in a professional and calm manner when she went back to work the
I tell this story because taking this action is not always the easiest, in fact it is very hard. I would
know firsthand, my mouth gets me in trouble all the time. She met the challenge and earned
respect from her boss and colleagues for bringing up the infraction and challenging it in a
professional poised manner instead of lashing out in anger.
During the panel discussions there was a lot of talk about using our words wisely and at the right
time, if we used them at all. It is important that we do this daily because it does set us apart from
others, it earns us respect and in the corporate world or in any industry. Respect is important and
it should be something that we strive for in our lives.
We have all been in this program for a year now and I think we are what they call a cohort. We
don’t see the same people in all our sessions, but as a whole we know each other and we have
gained skills, knowledge and strength from each other. We are an empowered cohort of women
prepared to challenge our right to positions, status, salary, and employment in our chosen
We have done this together, I thank all of you for your input because I learned from each of you
and that is part of what this program is about. We have learned how to choose our battles and our
words wisely. We have empowered ourselves to take a stand on matters that will really matter
and make a difference to right person. We are poised, professional, educated and ready to take
those next hurdles in life to achieve our goals.
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