June 23, 2017  

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Southern Miss Student to Attend United State of Women Summit

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Kristen Dupard

University of Southern Mississippi student Kristen Dupard has been selected to attend the United State of Women Summit set for Wednesday, June 14 in Washington, D.C.

The convention is sponsored by The Aspen Institute, the U.S. Department of State, Civic Nation, the United States Department of Labor, the White House, the Ford Foundation, Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women, Pepsico Foundation and the Tory Burch Foundation.

The summit calls for the celebration of the achievements of women in society and how women will continue to impact society moving forward in the future. The summit will discuss issues such as economic empowerment, health and wellness, educational opportunities, violence against women, entrepreneurship and innovation and leadership and civic engagement.

Dupard, 22, is a senior biochemistry major and Honors College student from New Orleans, La. In 2005, the devastation of Hurricane Katrina forced the Louisiana native to move from New Orleans to Jackson Mississippi to continue her childhood. While the hurricane disturbed the natural order of things for Dupard, it also served as a blessing in disguise for the woman she has become today: a servant leader for her community.

“Katrina changed my life forever. I went from being homeless to living literally not knowing if my dad was dead or alive,” Dupard said. “That’s a type of strength and a type of story that has made me the determined woman I am today.”

While earning a degree in biochemistry, Dupard will also have minors in biological sciences and broadcast journalism when she graduates in December 2016.

On top of her heavy academic load, Dupard still finds time to serve as a voice in her campus community as well as the Hattiesburg community on issues concerning gender inequality, the importance of voting among college students and providing mentorship to first-year collegiate women at Southern Miss.

Dupard is a Luckyday Citizenship Scholar, a scholarship program that was created to establish academic success among first-year college students in providing them with mentorship, community service requirements and a living-learning community.

For more information about the United State of Women Summit, visit: http://www.theunitedstateofwomen.org/summit-details/