Paying it forward
Vice Provost Savron inspires women in India to enhance their lives through higher education
Doris Savron knows firsthand how life-changing higher education can be for women, and that not everyone is given the opportunity. As the daughter of refugees who had minimal education, Savron has seen how her degrees have opened doors for her that weren’t open to her parents.
She is passionate about empowering women in similar situations and recently helped organize two leadership conferences in India to encourage local women to enhance their lives by pursuing higher education.
Savron, vice provost of colleges at University of Phoenix, was one of 16 leaders from the Phoenix area who traveled to India to participate in the empowerment conferences. Nearly 300 local community leaders attended the first conference and close to 1,600 were in attendance at the second conference held at a women’s university.
While some speakers focused on sharing how education helped change their lives, others spoke about the importance of leaning on other women. They shared how they build networks of women whom they can lean on during challenging times.
Savron saw the conferences as a way to encourage and inspire the women to continue their education and pursue a career to enhance their and their families’ lives and inspire others to do the same.
The conferences were just part of “paying it forward,” Savron says.
“There was this hunger to really change their circumstances. That is why they stick with it,” she says. “The perseverance and the determination to keep going, you see it in their eyes. You see how grateful they are to have an opportunity.”
The idea for the conferences came after Savron visited the region last year. The strength and determination she saw in women, and the adversity they faced in navigating poverty and the confines of their social structure, reminded Savron of her own story in some ways.