The Founder


Renee Aldrich - Founder & Director

RENEE P. ALDRICH, FOUNDER AND DIRECTOR OF Softer Side Seminars, an empowerment and self esteem building program for women and girls; designed to help them recreate the way they see themselves and cultivate the sense of self that will make a positive difference in all of their life choices.   SHE HAS HOSTED workshops, been invited as guest speaker, Mistress of Ceremonies, and made self esteem presentations in Women’s Shelter’s, church groups, The University of Pittsburgh Office of Child Development, 8-week “photo of me” series, Carnegie Mellon Advising Resource Center (CMARC) and was a conference presenter at the Urban League Healthy Marriage Coalition Conference on Marriage.  Through Softer Side Seminars, she has held six  annual day- long conferences entitled “Woman to Woman Empowerment Symposium—Streaming Self Esteem from one to the other.

An award winning writer, Mrs. Aldrich is a Creative Writing Major at Carlow University, where this year she was awarded the Ellie Wymard 2013 Award for Excellence in Creative Nonfiction.  She is also a winner of the Robert L. Vann Media Award for Best Magazine Piece.  A member of the Pittsburgh Black Media Federation, she is a local freelance writer for the New Pittsburgh Courier, University of Pittsburgh Alumni Magazine, PITT News and Blue Black an Gold a University of Pittsburgh magazine published by former Vice Provost for Public Relations, Robert Hill.

For 10 years Ms. Aldrich was a Community Health Educator for the American Cancer Society, working collaborative with other health organizations, she received over 9 Cancer Control Impact Awards for her work in identifying opportunities to drive the American Cancer Society Mission in under-served communities.  Again she was responsible for conducting workshops to men and women, in schools and corporations where individuals learned how to lower their risk for developing cancer.

Renee has served her community in a variety of capacities, holding a variety of Board positions, founding member and co-president of the Board, for 3 years—Uptown Partners, Secretary of the board, 2 years—Uptown Partners; Member and Secretary of Board for 4 years, Neighborworks Pennsylvania, current president Board of Council Ujaama Collective, just to name a few.

In 2011 she was one of the New Pittsburgh Courier’s 50 Women of Excellence, she is an accomplished speaker, a gifted writer and a mentor to young women caught in the grips of low self-esteem.  The mother of two wonderful adult children, she is a proud member of Macedonia Baptist Church where she serves on the Newsletter Ministry.  She believes strongly in the scripture, Jeremiah 29:11 that says “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  And endeavors to live her life in pursuit of those plans

Upcoming Event!

I was so blessed by today's symposium, and I'm looking forward to what will be birthed out of the connections we made. Renee P. Aldrich thank you for the platform for us to come together not only to share but to be fed by one another and empowered to get out of those stuck places. Blessings to you all!