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Rena Pederson

June 22, 2004

Rena Pederson, one of Texas Monthly's "Most Powerful Women in Texas," has made a career out of advancing literacy. As the Vice President and Editorial Page editor of the Dallas Morning News, she and her staff were named finalists for the Pulitzer Prize in Editorial Writing in 1993.

On June 22, 2004, Pederson dazzled an audience of more than 250 "champions of literacy" at The Junior League of Houston with an inspirational speech detailing her literacy background as an editor and author of two books: What's Next? Women Redefining Their Dreams in the Prime of Life and What's Missing? The Faith Factor for Women. Pederson shared tales of her appearance on the Oprah Winfrey show and entertained the audience with her humorous, yet practical "Seven Steps For Successful Living:"

1. Be a giant ear. Listen and hear everyone around you.
2. Count your blessings and take a good inventory.
3. Decipher how many poor people you know, not necessarily poor monetarily.
4. Ask yourself what you have always wanted to accomplish, and go for it.
5. Take time for Tea and focus on the tea.
6. Remember JOY! Give and receive JOY! Have an inner smile; JOY is infectious!
7. Appreciate others! Love wastefully! Do less and appreciate more!

The presentation began with a welcome by Andrea Gay, 2005 Literacy Advance of Houston Board President and an invocation by William Linden, professor of Theology at Rice University and retired partner at Vinson & Elkins, L.L.P.

Former Literacy Advance student Eliete Goldberg was presented with a scholarship to Houston Community College. She is tangible evidence of the outcomes of the generosity of time and money of champions of Literacy.

John Ramsey followed by giving a short presentation on Learning Without Limits before fellow Champion of Literacy Peter Roussel introduced Pederson. The entire program ended with a Question and Answer session before Pederson signed copies of her two books.

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