Poverty expert slated for workshop, lecture

Dr. Donna Beegle

When Donna Beegle tells her story, it sounds painfully familiar to those who work to address the causes of poverty in our country.

The child of poor migrant parents, Donna dropped out of high school at 15. By 25, she was the divorced and uneducated mother of two, facing homelessness.

Yet by 35, she had earned a Ph.D. and started her own business — and began telling her own story as a different way of helping people understand the reality of poverty.

“My education, my work and my passion are to help people from all races who are trapped in poverty,” Beegle explains. “I want them to have genuine options for lifelong success. This can only happen if the voices of those struggling with poverty can be heard and their perspectives understood.”

That’s part of the message she will bring to Concordia March 30, for a daytime workshop and an evening talk that is part of the Cook Lecture Series.

“Poverty 101,” Beegle’s workshop for professionals who work with people in poverty, begins at 9 a.m. at the Nazareth Motherhouse Auditoirum, and will conclude at 2 p.m. The cost for the day’s program is $20, which includes lunch.

Registration and payment are required by Monday, March 22; tickets will not be available at the door.

To register, call Sister Jean Rosemarynoski at 785-243-2149. Or, download this printable PDF and mail it and the $20 fee to the address listed on the form. The registration and payment must be received by March 22.

CEU credit is also available for the workshop. For information on receiving credit, call Holly Andrews at Cloud County Community College, 785-243-1435, ext. 371

Tuesday evening Beegle will speak at the Brown Grand Theatre in downtown Concordia as part of the Cook Lecture Series, sponsored by Cloud County Community College. That session begins at 7 p.m. and is free and open to the public.

After earning a GED, Beegle went on to receive bachelor’s and master’s degrees in communications. In 2000, she completed her doctorate in education leadership at Portland (Ore.) State University, where she taught speech communication courses for eight years.

Today she is president of Communication Across Barriers, a consulting firm in the Portland, Ore., area devoted to improving communication and relationships. Donna is also founder and CEO of PovertyBridge, a nonprofit organization dedicated to changing lives for people in poverty.

She is also the author of “See Poverty, Be The Difference,” a resource book for professionals who work with people in poverty, and is a nationally recognized speaker, discussion leader and trainer on topics of poverty.

Her workshop and lecture in Concordia are sponsored by  the Sisters of St. Joseph and the college.

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