Conference to give women a dose of empowerment

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Former San Antonio anchor and current TV real estate guru will share her story at free event.

By Te Keyshia Johnson

Twenty years ago, a man confided to a mutual friend that Cynthia Lee was “too much woman” for him after they had gone on one date.

His remark troubled her — that is, until she decided it was OK to be a strong female.

“I pondered that ‘too much woman’ for a long time, trying to figure out what I was doing wrong,” said Lee, a former anchor at Fox News in San Antonio. “Was I too confident, too ambitious or too outgoing? Thankfully, I realized I was doing nothing wrong.”

Lee, now a real estate broker who has appeared on “House Hunters” and “Bang for Your Buck,” will be the keynote speaker at the 14th annual Women Empowered Conference from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. May 21 in the auditorium of McAllister Fine Arts Center.

The Department of Services for Women and Non-Traditional Students (SWANS) has hosted the free conference since 2001.

SWANS is a service program that looks for new ways to help students and the community. The program includes the Women’s Center, Seguir Adelante and Mi CASA, which are all part of the empowerment center. They provide advising and counseling to single parents, first-year college students and more.

The conference is for women only, ages 18 and up. They can register at

“The conference is about what the title says, ‘women empowerment.’ It is about empowering women,” said Helen Perez, director of the empowerment center. “So you do that by giving them information as far as educational opportunities, workforce opportunities and personal development opportunities.”

SWANS is expecting about 500 women to attend the event, which includes workshops.

“The conference workshops will be discovering your leadership potential, creating a clear path that’s right for you, starting your college journey and taking control of your finances,” Perez said.

The highlight of the conference will be the presentation of scholarships for women attending this college, she said. Another highlight will be Lee, Perez said.

Lee will present “What I Wish Someone Had Told Me,” and she also will discuss “the seven tips to succeed, even when the odds seem stacked against you.”

“The title of my speech might imply that I have regrets,” Lee said. “Honestly, I don’t. I’m a big believer in that everything works out the way it’s supposed to. However, I feel like I could’ve accomplished a few goals a lot quicker if I had known about some simple concepts in regards to business and life in general.”

Knowing it is OK to be ambitious, confident and outgoing helped her shrug off the “too much woman” remark quicker. She also came to the realization about how empowered women are.

“Women’s empowerment is having the guts to be who you are and achieve what you want despite what someone may still believe about a woman’s place in this world,” she said. “This is my first women’s empowerment conference, and I cannot wait to feel the energy in the room.”

For more information, call 210-486-0455 or visit


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