By Michelle Caceres
When the ribbon was cut dedicating a clean, well-lit space on Hillsborough Community College’s Brandon campus for use by The Helen Gordon Davis Centre for Women, many were on-hand to celebrate the availability of its services not only to students but members of the community.
Speakers at the ribbon cutting included Brandon campus president Dr. Nancy Sorenson, The Helen Gordon Davis Centre for Women executive director Ann Madsen, Hillsborough County Commissioner Stacy White and HCC president Dr. Ken Atwater.
Atwater welcomed The Centre as a part of the HCC family and was quick to point out that its opening on the campus was a perfect partnership that would benefit students. “The ability to improve lives is the DNA that HCC is founded upon and when you work together to accomplish this goal you get more accomplished,” he said.
Madsen, The Centre’s executive director since 2012, said Sorensen played a big hand in making the partnership possible. “Our programs will help open doors of opportunity to people,” she said.
Initially, three of the Centre’s programs will be offered on campus, including counseling and wellness services, employment services and the Women’s Business Center.
The center will offer affordable counseling services, billed on a sliding fee scale and based on household income, to any person regardless of gender, sexual orientation, race, national origin or religion. The program is staffed with licensed master’s level therapists. Wellness workshops are also offered throughout the year and include creative solutions for parenting, anger management, self-esteem, assertiveness and aging issues.
Counselor Liza Sherman said the new space at HCC will allow her to offer counseling services in a location convenient to the Brandon community. “For me it’s all about helping people,” she said.
The Centre’s employment services will assist both men and women develop career plans and prepare resumes to land the right job.
The Women’s Business Centre offers free, confidential, individual counseling, group workshops, access to business support services and funding options as well as mentoring programs to help women plan, start and grow a business.
For more information, visit www.thecentre.org or call 251-8437.