Dr. Colette Pierce Burnette Takes the Stage

As President and CEO of Huston-Tillotson University, Dr. Colette Pierce Burnette keeps a faded picture of herself from the 5th grade on her desk.  She says she wants to remind herself of the little girl who still lives inside of her. “I would tell [that little girl] that life is not a dress rehearsal.  You cannot go back and do those chapters over again.  I would tell her to be in the moment - enjoy the moment. Being a perfectionist is not really healthy. They’re lessons to help you keep going.”


Dr. Colette Pierce Burnette holds a special position with Girls Empowerment Network as our 2019 We Are Girls Austin Honorary Chair.  She will be donning the conference stage at this year’s Austin conference with her message of the importance of believing in your ability to succeed.  In a recent interview with Dr. Pierce Burnette, she gave us a little sneak peek of what she may share at the opening rally.  “If you don’t believe in yourself, it’s hard to convince other people to believe in you. You live your life in a constant state of fear of what you cannot do instead of embracing what you can do.  [Self-efficacy] gives you enough power to believe in yourself that you can take that first step, that second step, that third step. And that’s something that, in girls, we sometimes have to have chiseled out of us because we’re told that we’re the nurturers. We’re told that we have to put other people before us - we have to be caring people. We don’t have this sense of pride to think, ‘You know what? While I’m over here supporting that person to go shoot a rocket to the moon, I could shoot a rocket to the moon.’ I have to put myself up there and say, ‘This is an opportunity for me. This is something I can achieve.’ 


Dr. Pierce Burnette gives us goosebumps with her words of wisdom as she sings the mission of Girls Empowerment Network.  We are excited to hear what she will share with us at the We Are Girls Conference on November 16th.  Don’t miss your opportunity to hear her powerful message of risk and resilience.

Thank You to Our Sponsors!


As Honorary Chair of the 2019 We Are Girls Conference, Dr. Colette Pierce Burnette has an impressive list of sponsors and committee members behind her too, including the following generous supporters and community leaders:


Dr. Colette Pierce Burnette, Honorary Chair

Becky Austen, Janet & Elisabeth Bates, Karen & Carter Blackburn,

Laurie Coffin, Suzanne Deal Booth, Larissa De Luna, Colette Fitzgerald, Jolynn Free, Julie Glasser,

Lisa Harris, Rani Clasquin, Kate & Eric Harslem, Tracy Holland & Jim Skelding,

 Erin & Jason Jones, Jeanne & Michael Klein, Monica & Casey Layfield, Whitney Mack,

Gigi & Joel Melrose, Sarah Meredith Wells, Kate Meredith Andrade, Abigail Meredith & Lynn Meredith,

Bettye Nowlin & Family, Maria Orozova, Joe & Janis Pinelli, Christine Plonsky,

Clarisa Ramirez & Dustin Meador, MariBen Ramsey & Karen Kahan, Maura Thomas, Melinda Slawson,

Liz & Kirk Watson, Cliff & Shari Vars

Chelsea Dean-Martinez