2012 has been a wonderful year for WOW. We surpassed the goals we set for ourselves: with one more week to go, we have had 149 students enroll in our program and we have assisted 62 individuals in obtaining employment this year. Celebrating two graduations, we honored students who completed our program and obtained and retained employment for at least 3 months. We hosted 10 cooking classes with some of Denver’s top chefs and began offering team building classes to corporations. We have grown and transformed into a more successful organization that better serves its students. I would like to share with you some of our staff members’ thoughts on WOW’s accomplishments in 2012.
“I would have to say that the most impacting situation was helping a student get into emergency housing due to a domestic violence situation. Leaving the relationship without anything and facing barriers to eligibility for most shelters because she was a single woman without children, this individual was forced to sleep on the street. She has not yet enrolled in the program, but once she gets some stability she will begin the WOW program and accomplish all of the goals she has set forth for herself.” – Jennifer Hernandez, Intake Specialist
“I am most proud that the organization has been malleable enough to make necessary changes in a short amount of time to better meet the students’ needs. For example: shortening the program time while incorporating more training/certificates, providing kitchen training, case management, and job search at the same time, and most of all transforming one of our office spaces into a fully functioning Career Center. Overall the program is running more smoothly and assisting more students in getting jobs.” – Courtney Gross, Case Manager
“It has been a gratifying experience working with students who are truly motivated to participate in WOW as they identify it as their ‘second chance’ after facing challenging life obstacles. Watching and supporting them as they transform over the course of 10 weeks in the WOW program is very rewarding.” – Rachel Pavelko, Case Manager
“I am extremely proud to be part of an organization that changed the lives of 62 women and men. Placing these participants into employment is why we do what we do each day. I am thrilled to be part of this team that surpassed our 2012 goal.” – Laurie Peterson, Development Director
“I am so proud to be a part of an organization that truly changes lives. This year I have had the opportunity to get to know some of the students after they have completed the program and I have met one individual that I am especially proud of. She battled addiction her entire life and is now sober for the first time, working a job she loves, and is self-sufficient at 52 years old. I get a big smile on my face every time I think about all she has overcome in her life and I am so proud to be a part of the organization that helped her accomplish so much.” – Kaitlyn Malkiewicz, Development Coordinator
As we enter into a new year, we will continue to work hard to serve our students and support them as they take their first steps out of poverty towards self-sufficiency and financial independence.
We hope to see you at one of our monthly cooking classes, enjoying a meal at Café Options, or at WomenCook! 2013 on May 6th.
Happy New Year from WOW!