The goal of the workshop was to prepare Alhambra high school girls to enter cutting-edge job markets in science, technology, engineering and math. But the HerWorld program at DeVry University's Fremont Avenue campus also included some very traditional etiquette lessons including how to properly butter a piece of bread (by first tearing off small portions and then applying butter), and instruction in self-defense from female police officers.
Dan Dement, a spokesman for DeVry, said it's part of the importance of teaching "soft skills" in addition to "hard skills." "We believe that it is just as important to educate young women as to how they should present themselves in a professional setting to achieve success in their careers and respect from their peers," Dement wrote in an e-mail. DeVry, a for-profit university, has more than 90 locations across the United States and Canada, and opened a branch in Alhambra last year. The HerWorld program, in its 13th year, is conducted on 50 campuses to try and encourage women to enter careers in science, technology, engineering and math. As for the lessons in etiquette, "We were delighted to have Pauline Lee, a certified corporate etiquette and international protocol consultant and CEO of Etiquette Works, Inc.," Dement wrote, "to share her passion for teaching individuals to pursue excellence and acquire the skills and confidence necessary to achieve the greatness they deserve.
About 80 students from Alhambra, Mark Keppel and San Gabriel High Schools attended the program last Thursday. Activities included a hands-on science experiment in which the girls learned how to make lip gloss using household ingredients and tools, a technology workshop allowed the participants to become familiar with digital cameras, as well as female professionals from Microsoft Corporation and the City of Hope as guest speakers at the event. "By spotlighting everyday product that many of our HerWorld attendees most likely carry with them in their purses and backpacks each day, the Alhambra event sessions introduced young women to the science and technology behind such ubiquitous items as make-up products and digital cameras," DeVry's Career Services led a workshop in how to "Dress for Success." The program ended with tea time and the etiquette training, including proper handshakes and the bread buttering lesson.