Boylan speaker tells all to work with passion

Finding what one is passionate about and running with it is the key to a successful life, according Terrill Petri, founder of Women Vision International.

On April 13, Petri talked about finding one’s passion in her speech during the 15th Annual Helen S. Boylan Lecture series. Boylan created the Helen S. Boylan Foundation, which funds the series that brings in women speakers. The series has brought in speakers with diverse backgrounds like writers, doctors and non-governmental organization members.

“We think they’re good role models, not just for women, but for men, too,” said Dr. Tom Simpson, associate professor of political science.

Simpson said Petri provided an “inspiring story from a woman who has experience from lots of interesting crossroads.” Petri founded WVI in 1993. She now serves as CEO of the non-profit organization and contributes to its many teams.

Petri conceived the idea to create WVI after she traveled the world as a writer for a child sponsorship organization. Petri encountered poverty on a daily basis through her work with the organization.

Because of these experiences, she began dreaming of an international network of women-helping-women, which is what WVI is about. Petri never gave up on her passion of creating an organization that involved women helping other women.

“If you follow your passion, there is a lot that will come from that,” Petri said.

Students said Petri’s passion for her work came out during her lecture.

“I thought it (the lecture) was excellent, well put and passionate,” said Jessica Head, junior nursing major.

Head said she learned a lot from the lecture.

“I learned that there is a lot more going on as far as the women’s movement and women’s empowering movement that is going on in different countries that I wasn’t aware of,” she said.

Petri said she hoped the students got a lot out of the lecture.

Janine Byrd, senior nursing major, said the lecture helped show that living one’s passion is worthwhile.

“Lectures like these are really inspiring, because they remind you that there is something out there that you can do and there is something out there that you need to do,” Byrd said. “So come on, get out and do it. If they can do it, why not you?”

Head said people can lose their passion when they are not focusing on it.

“Also, when you are a college student you are so caught up in school and you tend to lose focus on what your purpose is and what your passion is,” Head said. “And that empowers us to be able to recognize what we want to do with our lives.”

Head said Petri helped encourage the audience.

“It encouraged us and showed that it was possible for us to obtain what we want to do with our lives,” she said.

Petri said there was only one thing she wanted students to take away from her lecture. That was to “trust that voice and that passion” so they could “live life with passion.”