My name is Kaitlyn and I am the new Development Coordinator here at Work Options for Women. I am excited to be a part of such a wonderful team that works so hard to help women make a better life for themselves and their families. I really believe that women are the key to both economic and community development and feel blessed to have found an organization whose passions are so aligned with my own.
So, let me tell you all a little bit about myself… I grew up in California and received my B.S. in Finance, Real Estate, and Law from California State University Long Beach. After graduating, I joined the United States Peace Corps and was sent to the Dominican Republic to act as a Community Economic Development Specialist. While in the DR, I worked with the women’s association of my village who was interested in starting a small business to earn extra money. We started a small business making and selling a common floor cleaner in our village. Apart from the small business, we also carried out various community development projects, such as building latrines (never did I think I would become a master mason and know how to construct latrines!) and forming youth groups. Not to mention the zillion classes I taught: English, Accounting, HIV/AIDS Prevention, Environmental Stewardship, Business Plans, Marketing, etcetera.
Through my work with the women in my village, I became passionate about working in women’s empowerment. When women are empowered with the tools and skills necessary, they can enact positive, sustainable changes in their community. I was so inspired, in fact, that at the end of my 27 month service, I decided to stay in the DR and develop a women’s empowerment program. It was an amazing experience and the women I worked with were such an inspiration! As a result of my 3 years of Peace Corps service, I have decided to pursue an M.A. in International Development at DU, which I will begin this fall, with the end goal of working with an organization that believes in women’s empowerment.
Enter Work Options for Women! I was so excited when I came across the opportunity to work for WOW. I was eager to build upon my experience working to empower women while going to grad school and WOW is the perfect organization to do that with. Not only have I met the amazing employees at WOW, I have also had the opportunity to hear some of the students’ stories. I am just blown away by the impact WOW is making in the community and I am honored to be a part of it.