Olympic medalist encourages women to go for the gold 

It was a chance for women from the community to meet, share their experiences, and learn from each other.That was the goal of the fourth annual women’s symposium at the University of Maine this weekend.And as Cori Skall explains, the event inspired many in attendance to go for the gold, literally, as Olympic gold medalist Dominique Dawes gave the keynote address. “Envisioning is all about picturing in your mind…picturing in your mind…honestly, where do you want to take your life? What do you want to be doing?” “It’s truly been a thrill to have an opportunity to plant a seed. And that seed is of envisioning. Because I think with anything in this world. Whatever it is that you want to accomplish, it has to start from somewhere.”She should know: she’s Dominique Dawes, Olympic gold medalist, Broadway star, and now motivational speaker.Dawes delivered the keynote address to a packed house at this year’s University Of Maine Women’s Symposium. “Women still make 78 cents to a man’s dollar, so we have not reached common ground, as of yet. We do not have all of the opportunities. There are still stereotypes that women should be in particular fields, and not in others.” “Use those lack of opportunities, use those nay-sayers, use it as momentum, if it works for you.”FIrst year student, Kelly Cyr, is studying Civil Engineering, a field traditionally staffed with men.She says she was excited to attend this year’s symposium. “As a woman in a man’s field of work, so to speak. I think that it’s just going to be really important for me to figure out how I can get myself noticed.”This year’s theme was all about networking, something Dawes says is key in achieving your goals. “I think that’s important that we have more women’s groups that bond and share ideas together, because we can learn so much from each other. Because the male’s perspective is very different from ours, and that’s ok, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. But I think more of us women need to bond and be supportive of one another in our professional lives, as well as in our personal lives and in our personal growth.”This year’s event was open to the public, and free. “Touching someone else’s life does not only change their life, but it changes your life too.” “I just thing it’s really awesome that we had the opportunity to go to something like this. I feel like it probably doesn’t get offered in a whole lot of places, and I feel really honored to be able to go to this.”