PRCC Welcomes 400+ Women for Empowering 17th Annual Health Symposium with Guest Demi-Leigh Tebow

Feburary 2, 2024

The 17th annual Women’s Health Symposium was held on the Poplarville Campus of Pearl River Community College on Saturday, January 27. Ms. Demi-Leigh Tebow, former Miss Universe, was the keynote speaker. She drew from her personal experiences, including a carjacking at gunpoint, to encourage resilience and empowerment in women. Tebow provided practical personal safety advice and challenged others to make time for interruptions for the benefit of others.  “You can choose to not let circumstances define you,” said Tebow. “Be resilient by bouncing back, seeing people, taking sides, and trusting the ripple effects.” 

Woman wearing tan jacket and pants stands by podium, holding a microphone.
Demi-Leigh Tebow speaks to attendees of Women’s Health Symposium.

Attendees were able to peruse handmade items at the Art Walk, access health screenings, and visit vendors for more information on ways to live healthier lives.  The health screenings included blood cholesterol, blood pressure, bone density, glucose screening, vision, and more. 

Participants also had the opportunity for some pampering in the form of a short chair massage from PRCC massage therapy students or to have their nails manicured by the college’s cosmetology students. 

Two women receive chair massages

Many of the women donated towards the Dr. Becky Askew Scholarship for Medical Students with the purchase of raffle tickets for one of three designer handbags. A total of $650.00 was raised to fund scholarships for females entering a pre-med or allied health program.  

Janie Walters, CEO of Champion Communications, returned to the symposium to provide a dose of humor and inspiration with the presentation “Building Self-Esteem in Ourselves and Others.” She shared six ways we can accomplish that feat: see the best in people, treat people as you would like them to be, make excuses for people (when you don’t know what led to their behavior or words), give people permission to fail, remain optimistic about people, and be respectful. 

Woman wearing black dress stands by podium holding a microphone.
Janie Walters entertains attendees of Women’s Health Symposium.

“If you do these things, you will be amazed at how much joy you’ll have in your life and the people you will meet,” said Walters. 

Vendors for the 2024 event included Arden Hospice, Bright Steps, Crown Care Communities, Forrest General Home Care and Hospice, Hattiesburg Eye Clinic, P.A., Highland Community Hospital, Hypnotherapy Services & Other Mind Matters, Mississippi Organ Recovery Agency, Pearl River County Hospital & Nursing Home, Poplarville Woman’s Club, PRCC Associate Degree Nursing Program, MS Organization for Associate Degree Nursing, PRCC Cosmetology Program, PRCC Dental Hygiene Program, PRCC Massage Therapy Program, PRCC Medical Laboratory Tech. Program, Putting on the Pink, Southeast Mississippi Rural Health Initiative, Inc. (SeMRHI), Southern Bone and Joint Specialists, P.A., The Poplarville Clinic, Thrive Health & Wellness with Lenoir Massage Therapy, and Westside Aesthetics Health & Wellness. 

Art walk vendors displayed their handmade items available for purchase. They included Barbara Atwell, Stacey Dengler, Jaden Hendrix (Skullptures by Jaden), DeDe English (Sew Unique), Kathy Guillot (Kathy’s Creative Art), Gordon Alford (Old Things New), Kay Kammer (Blue Cricket Designs), Gloria Newson (Magnolia Essence), PRCC Connecting Threads student group, and Ashley Purvis Smith. 

The event was made possible through the generosity of Lower Pearl River Valley Foundation, Grand Sponsor; Aladdin Campus Dining, Hancock Whitney, Highland Community Hospital, Mississippi Power, Pearl River County Hospital & Nursing Home, and Walmart Supercenter in Picayune, Silver Sponsors; and BankPlus, First National Bank of Picayune, Pearl River County Economic Development District, and Southern Bone & Joint Specialists, P.A., Bronze Sponsors. 

For the latest news on Pearl River Community College, visit and follow us on Twitter (@PRCC_Wildcats), Instagram (PRCCWILDCATS), Facebook (@PRCCMKTG), and TikTok (@prcc_wildcats).

Article and photography by Laura O’Neill.

Each community college president is asked to bring two (2) wrapped door prizes, minimum value of $50 each. We will have a station set up at the conference for you to drop off the door prizes.

Each community college is asked to provide name tags for their Board members, administration, and staff attending the conference.