FAIRFIELD — You can be anything you want, teens were told this week by a speaker who emphasized how much character counts during her keynote speech at the first Talent & Fashion Show at Fairfield High School for Women’s History Month.
“We’re in a society where everything is based on how you look,” Vallejo resident Deloris Johnson said. “Everything is for the visual.”
It’s good that we want to present ourselves well, added Johnson, a mother of five children who retired after a 37-year career with Wells Fargo Bank. But work on the inside as well and be beautiful with truth, honesty and integrity, she said.
Pop stars sometimes find themselves in the limelight and don’t know who they are, the Vallejo resident said.
“Find out who you are,” Johnson said.
“Stand on your integrity,” she said. “Great minds have untouchable beliefs.”
If you’re telling yourself, “I don’t know if I can do it,” Johnson said, change the words. “Say it every day, ‘Yes, I can,’ ” she said. “It’s something to be a first-rate version of yourself.”
It’s awful to be a second-rate version of someone else, she said.
Regina Williams, who began the Tuesday event, is Fairfield High’s library media teacher, a position she said was once known as librarian. She spoke before the talent and fashion show about how the school is bringing back the celebration of Women’s History Month.
The show is an opportunity for students to showcase their talents and no winners are named, Williams said.
Participants included Ashley Taylor, a 2004 Fairfield High School graduate who went on to earn a degree from Howard University in Washington, D.C.
Williams spoke about how Taylor said in the third grade that she was going to Howard – and did so.
The library media teacher recounted at the show’s start how in 1978 a school district in Sonoma County was a pioneer by participating in Women’s History Week. President Jimmy Carter in 1980 proclaimed a national Women’s History Week, Williams said.
“Too often the women were unsung,” she said.
Women’s history is indispensable and the source of pride, inspiration and courage, Williams said.
Sponsors of the Fairfield High event included Alpha Kappa Alpha and Delta Sigma Theta sororities.
Reach Ryan McCarthy at 427-6935 or firstname.lastname@example.org.