It is an exciting time at the YWCA Clinton. We have started advertising for mentors for our “She Rises” program supported by an Iowa Women’s Foundation grant. We are reaching out to professional women’s groups, YWCA committees that support our mission, and by word of mouth to find mentors. Before I began working for the YWCA I was a board member for 9 years. In those years I could see the work the YW staff was doing to embrace the mission by getting the word out into the community. So to have this opportunity to spear head a project that can offer young women and girls the tools to make a difference in their current life, and look forward to their future, gave me goose bumps.
After reading the application for “She Rises” my mind was going in many different directions about how we could make this program a success. We have a board of directors made up of many different backgrounds and professions. They would be an integral part of getting the word out and could also be potential mentors. I wanted to make sure the young women and girls know that being a successful professional has a very broad definition. You may dress in a suit, business casual, casual or a uniform. It can mean having a job that pays above poverty level, includes benefits, health care coverage, offers flexibility and covers child care costs. You can support yourself and your family by putting food on the table, pay all your bills and still be able to put money in a savings account.
To accomplish all of this it will mean walking side by side with a mentor who can guide and assist with developing a plan to achieve their end goal. To make this possible we recently hired a part time case manager who will be taking a large role in recruiting and planning the curriculum for She Rises. She is a graduate of Luther College with a degree in Psychology. She is currently enrolled in nursing school and planning to get her BSN. She has had several volunteer experiences, one in particular as a Pursuits Confidence Coach. This is a volunteer program helping women through the Dress for Success program. She also created and implemented an art therapy program which provided weekly classes.
We are so thankful for IWF’s support and partnership in developing the “She Rises” program.