ARDMORE, Okla. (KTEN) – The Helping Others to Succeed Community invited more than 50 women and girls to the Ardmore Convention Center on Saturday, offering motivation, resources, and networking opportunities.

“People's lives were changed for the better,” said HOTS Community director Larrissa Lott.  “They walked out of here feeling empowered, and like they have faith to do whatever it is they need to do.”

The HOTS Community is a local organization working to provide encouragement and hope for those in need.

“We’re here to help ladies and women become empowered,” said Lott. “To go out to do whatever they need to make better lives for themselves, and — if they have children — for their children.” 

Saturday's event featured vendors, music, raffle prizes, as well as local and out-of-state guest speakers.

“Just to see women come together from all backgrounds and nationalities was beautiful for me,” said conference attendee Nawana Bourgeois. “I hope this is something we continue, not only just every year, but more often in the Ardmore, Oklahoma, area.”

Ardmore Middle School teacher Mary Johnson, who was a guest speaker at the event, has been making her mark on the community for nearly 50 years.

“I feel that I am more than a teacher,” Johnson said. “I am a person who is a visionary. I am a person that has passion and concern for these kids, and will follow them every step of the way through middle school, high school, and on into college.”

The HOTS Community is also planning to host a back-to-school event later in August.