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Panel of Experts Highlight Aurora Women and Girls Foundation’s ‘Building Futures for Women and Girls’ Forum

Photo courtesy of Aurora Foundation For Women and Girls in Greater Hartford

The West Hartford-based Aurora Women and Girls Foundation forum focused on programs to help women succeed through education as well as initiatives being undertaken by businesses and other organizations.


The Aurora Women and Girls Foundation hosted a forum “Building Futures for Women and Girls” at the Legislative Office Building in Hartford on April 18. The forum highlighted Aurora Foundation’s college completion initiatives as well as other innovative programs offered by businesses, organizations and higher education institutions that are propelling women to success in college and beyond. 

The discussion was moderated by Diane Smith, president of Diane Smith Media, pictured at far left, and included panelists (pictured above, from left) Tara Spain, vice president & COO of the Travelers Foundation; Amy Barzach, director, The Women’s Advancement Initiative at the University of Hartford; Jessica Floyd, a student at the University of Hartford; Rhona Free, president of the University of University of Saint Joseph;  Aeriel Denmark, a student at Manchester Community College; David Johnston, executive director of the Center for Higher Education Retention Excellence; Deborah Ullman, CEO of the YWCA Hartford Region; Estela Lopez, former provost of the Connecticut Board of Regents for Higher Education; Carolyn Van Newkirk Hoffman, member of the Aurora Board; Gena Glickman, president of Manchester Community College; and Karen Jarmoc, chair of the Connecticut Commission on Women, Children & Seniors and Aurora Board President.

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