Paying it forward.....
WEN graduate Wanda Coleman epitomizes the phrase, “paying it forward.” Wanda came to WEN in hopes that she would find employment, avoid going on public assistance, and be able to turn her life around. She made a promise to herself that when -- not if -- but when she did find sustainable employment, she would give back.
Wanda graduated from WEN in 1995 and was soon hired by DST Systems, Inc., a prominent Kansas City-based company. Fast forward to January 2012. Wanda has proven herself to be an invaluable employee, excellent at what she does, and with a first-rate work ethic. Wanda has just received her biggest promotion - she is now a Supervisor and will be responsible for overseeing the entire Operations Department at DST. No small feat!
In Wanda’s own words, “I owe all of my success to what I learned at Women’s Employment Network.” And to recognize and thank WEN, Wanda joined WEN’s Legacy Circle, a VIP Donor Circle, making her the very first WEN client and graduate to make this significant contribution.
She is an inspiration.
From all of us at WEN, we appreciate your thank-you -- and we want to thank-you right back!
We are proud to report, on average, 13 women each month, thanks to Women's Employment Network's Employment Preparation & Career Transition Training program, find jobs and report employment! We are very proud of all of our women/graduates!
On a personal note, just the other day, our staff of 6 was holding our weekly meeting, when we heard a knock on the door. We opened the door and saw a WEN client with a huge smile, ear to ear, standing there, looking like she was about to burst with pride. She had just heard the news that she had been hired for a job that she had been hoping for. She said the first thing she wanted to do when she heard the news was to come directly to WEN's offices to let us all know the big news. We all stood up and gave her big hugs and congratulations. She said she never could have done this without our program, our support and our friendship.
After she left, we continued our meeting, but there was a certain something different in the air. We were reminded in the most wonderful of ways that what we do, day-in and day-out, helps real women in very direct ways make real differences in their lives.
(attached is a photo of a few recent WEN graduates)
Santesa came to WEN unemployed, frustrated, down-on-her-luck, but determined to find sustainable employment so that she could take care of herself and her family.
Santesa is young, just 22 years old. And she has three children (ages 6, 3, 1) and was pregnant with her fourth. Though she had a solid work history with good references and experience, she was finding it next-to-impossible to get hired, possibly because she was pregnant.
During the WEN training, Santesa got her confidence back, shifted her mind-set, and set in motion a plan to get herself working and back on track. It was during the mock-interview portion of the WEN training and curriculum that things really began to change. The WEN volunteer-interviewer, a successful local businesswoman, saw Santesa not as a pregnant, young mom without a job, but as a woman who had great potential, a great attitude, fortitude, and strength of character. This volunteer was so impressed by Santesa that she made calls and networked on her behalf. Santesa, through this volunteer’s help, landed an interview with a company she wanted to work for. And, Santesa aced the interview and found herself a job: employed, thanks to WEN and thanks to her own strengths and effort.
Santesa, through WEN’s program, found sustainable employment: she is now employed by a national restaurant chain as a hostess. She receives steady paychecks and benefits and is on the path to a bright future. Another WEN success story; we are very proud of Santesa!
Sue Huber came to WEN expecting one thing.. and she graduated from our 5-week program with much, much more. In her own words, she describes her journey:
"Words can't really do justice the gratitude I feel for this program. I was not expecting a life-changing experience, yet I feel like my life has changed. I was only expecting to get a job and maybe some help with starting my business, a resume and some job leads. I feel like I have a tool belt full of tools to assist me in all aspects of my life, not just finding a job or starting a business. I am truly humbled and blessed by what I've received here! I know the sense of joy that I receive from giving, so I can imagine how fulfilled the volunteers the volunteers are who give of their time and resources to keep WEN going. Coming to WEN was the best $25 I have ever spent! I am so proud of myself -- and my classmates. In my opinion, we were each willing to leap outside our comfort zones and SOAR! Thank you for pushing myself - I am forever grateful."
Sue is now embarking on her journey and her new path, with direction and a "tool belt full of tools." She is also filled with a new sense of purpose, direction -- and with a strong and vital network of support from her classmates and contacts from WEN. We are very proud of Sue and cannot wait to see what the future holds for her. Congratulatins and good luck, Sue!
The Limited celebrated the Women's Employment Network (WEN) at the grand opening of a new store in Leawood, Kansas on April 28th. The event raised $1,075 for WEN and provided two of WEN's graduates a completely new and updated "look," which included a makeover and style consultation by Tai Beauchamp, national correspondent for InStyle, along with new shoes, handbags, and jewelry too! The two WEN graduates, Andria Kearney and Jeanine Justis, loved their new looks and felt poised and ready for more successes in their future.
The CEO of the Limited, Linda Heasley, was proud to align her company and herself with WEN. "The Limited is about a woman's personal success - fulfilling her potential and looking great every step of the way. That is why we are proud to partner with the Women's Employment Network for our opening."
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