What do women want? Well, if they’re Forsyth Tech students, a lot – beginning with empowerment opportunities, help locating childcare, and counseling when the going gets rough. The Shugart Women’s Center at Forsyth Tech is a place where they can find advocacy, referrals to local agencies and information to help them reach their goals.
Started in 1998, the Women’s Resource Center has evolved into the Shugart Women’s Center (renamed for local businessman Grover F. Shugart, CEO of Shugart Enterprises, LLC). The Center offers a variety of services. If you’re a female student or staff member looking for opportunities to learn leadership skills, network or find a mentor, this is the place. “We offer a safe space for women to cry, celebrate and vent. The Center is about service: We’re transforming lives,” says Director Sherraine McLean.
In 2002, Mr. Shugart, who attended Forsyth Tech at various times during his career, created an endowment to provide the Center with ongoing financing. “I’ve always said Forsyth Tech is one of the biggest assets Forsyth County’s got,” he observes. “I wanted to do something for women and families. If mothers want to attend classes to help them get a better job, they shouldn’t have problems obtaining funds or anything else they need,” he explains.
Staff and supporters came together for the Center’s 15th anniversary on March 11, 2015 at the Oak Grove Center on the college’s main campus. They have much to celebrate, especially the 20,000 women they’ve assisted since opening. That’s right, twenty t-h-o-u-s-a-n-d.
While they applauded the clients they have helped over the years, we celebrate them – administrators, staff and the Center’s benefactor, Mr. Shugart – for making this “haven” a permanent campus resource. Happy Anniversary!