Oct 1, 2018

Rosa's Journey Through WEN

Rosa Fregoso, WEN Class 297
Rosa Fregoso, WEN Class 297

I have to start by saying that I never thought I would actually feel the changes I have experienced so tangibly. I do feel like I have grown mentally on this past 5 weeks.

I have always thought of myself as someone weak, without a real trait or personality.

I have gotten used to being the “Eeyore” I learned to love, but during this past weeks, I have learned that I have what it takes to succeed, that I am stronger than I thought and that when I really want to, I can do anything;  If set my mind into it.

And after what it feels a lifetime, I can say, (and actually believe it when I hear myself saying it), that I am proud of myself.

I don’t ever remember feeling that way, ever. And I don’t know how it happened, but in a way, now; I don’t feel so embarrassed of the job I had for so long, because that job didn’t define me, If anything, It helped me build the person I became.

I chose WEN a long time ago when I was trying to get help, to find myself. The resume and mock interview classes are what primarily caught my attention, but the name:

“Women Employment Network” somehow told me, I was going to be able to find what I was seeking and didn’t even know I needed. I was blessed to end up in the place where I wanted to be and had forgotten about. I do believe in destiny. Back in 2016, I read about it and I knew that was the place I had to be in, I just had to be patient. 

Since we started the program; I feel stronger, more confident and even happier.

Sadly, I wasn’t able to attend all the workshops I wanted, but I do appreciate greatly the ones I did.  What I am most grateful for and I pray I can take from here has to be, my NEW FRIENDS and all the people I can count on.

Also, being able to sit down face to face with someone that will probably intimidate me, and that now I can talk to feeling more secure of myself, like my reviews said, that I portrayed myself as being confident. I have NEVER been called that in my life, and that meant a lot to me. I think I can safely say, It did change my life because now I know, I have it in me; I just have to let it out and smile. There is nothing a smile can’t fix. And I love that.

I am going to work very hard to achieve all my goals and dreams. One of them being; finding a job where I will be able to grow, advance and stay for a long time, one where I’ll be able to help other people that, like at one point myself, feel lost … also with luck a job that will allow me to have my nights off, so I can spend it with my kids.

I will get into any training, school and/or program that I have to, in order to achieve said goals. Because now I know, only I can stop myself, and I am not planning to.

No more sabotaging myself. The sky is the limit and I have so much to look forward too.

The time you have invested in me is not wasted and I will make you ladies proud... PINKY PROMISE!


Jul 9, 2018

Renee's Journey Through WEN

WEN Graduate, Renee
WEN Graduate, Renee

Congratulations to Women's Employment Network graduate, Renee, on her new position at Company Kitchen!

Renee got an interview with Company Kitchen on the spot while attending our KC Job Fair on May 3rd. On Thursday, May 17th, Renee stopped by WEN to show her gratitude with some beautiful balloons and cake!

Renee shared her journey with us at Class #294's graduation on May 4th:

I chose WEN because of the thought process put into assisting a diverse group of women no matter what phase of life they’re in when it comes to employment. Both of you are passionate about what you do, the volunteers are highly qualified, and together you’re extremely effective. My decision was not a disappointment, I’ve learned a lot about myself and what’s key when it comes to finding the right job. I feel fortunate to have been accepted into the program.

The 'aha' moment for me is that I learned I have a natural gift and it’s not just “the way things are.”  In addition, I have no clue how to focus on myself which at this point brings me to tears.  I’ve spent my entire life living and thinking about others I almost have no clue how to reach deep down inside and make a change.  Being successful with this will make or break me because what I’ve learned is “going forward” it starts with me.  Remembering or journaling the details will be helpful when having to recall people, places, and things.

My goal is to finish the program taking advantage of everything that’s left to offer.  I need to learn how to stop getting hung up on “steps,” go with the flow and be comfortable with going out of order.  I understand that although I was blessed with a natural gift I have to do my part in the areas that I wasn’t so blessed in.  I have to stop thinking that there are no companies that want a person with my skill set because I know there’s plenty, I just have to find them. No one said it would be easy.

I assure you that even though I’m a little high maintenance when it comes to needing your coaching, development, and guidance I’m very much different on the job. Once I understand my entire realm of responsibilities, have all my questions answered, and know where I fit in with the team I’m good.  Please know that I will not let myself or you down. I treasure the time spent as it takes me back to where it all started and reminds me of those that developed me in the past. You’re now a part of that group and I thank you for it.

I’ve achieved so many goals in this program already because all successes have to be celebrated, even the small ones. My end goal is to find a job that’s happiness driven.  It seems like a simple concept considering the minimal amount obstacles I have to overcome but it’s one of the hardest things I’ve had to tackle. I appreciate you and I appreciate WEN.

Apr 11, 2018

Edythe's Journey Through WEN

Edythe with her family and Kaleeah
Edythe with her family and Kaleeah

Edythe heard about WEN from Kaleeah Euler, the Executive Director of another Kansas City nonprofit organization, Family Promise Northland. Edythe and her family were homeless because of a series of life challenges - a medical crisis with her son, car problems and the loss of her job. The family got behind in paying bills and unable to pay rent, so they were evicted. Kaleeah knew WEN was exactly what Edythe needed to help get refocused and get her confidence back.

 Edythe came to WEN unsure of what to expect and almost certain that WEN would not be able to help her. When she came to orientation she let it be known that coming to WEN was going to be a challenge because of medical appointments for her son and other commitments. During her individual assessment with each staff member, she was assured that staff would work with her. WEN staff reviewed her appointment schedule and discovered that there were few conflicts and showed Edythe how with a little pre-planning she could be available for the appointments and make it through the WEN Signature program.

 During her assessment with Tonia, Director of Employment and Client Services, Edythe shared that she had an Associate in Medical Assisting and that she wanted to be a phlebotomist. Tonia suggested that she contact the Community Blood Center to see if they had any openings. The next week after completing a career exploration profile Edythe shared with the women in her class that she wanted to be a phlebotomist. This time she was told by Lynnette, who was facilitating the session, that she should look at the Community Blood Center website.

By then she decided since she had heard it twice she should follow through. Over Thanksgiving weekend Edythe applied to the Community Blood Center and got a response immediately. When she came to WEN on Monday she proudly announced to the class that she was going to an interview at the Community Blood Center. At the interview, she confidently talked about her skills and the importance of helping people feel at ease in medical settings and procedures. The next day she talked about how successful she was in the interview. The most exciting part was that as she headed home, she received a call offering her the position. Edythe accepted the position and started work as a phlebotomist the week after she completed the training.

 When asked what was her most important takeaway she said gaining her self-esteem and self-confidence and knowing how to properly search for, apply and interview for employment. From her WEN experience, she appreciates all the knowledge, strength and wisdom that was shared by the great staff and volunteers. 

Edythe with her elf - Ms. Lynnette!
Edythe with her elf - Ms. Lynnette!


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