In Retrospect: Employed Student Recalls Training

Ever since Pilar* obtained employment with a health care facility, she has been in constant contact with Kassi, one of our caseworkers. They write to each other via email every week, and Kassi said that in each email, Pilar’s words brim with gratitude and an understanding that she accomplished something amazing.

Kassi had a chance to ask Pilar some more questions about her time at Work Options for Women, especially in light of her recent hire and completion of the program. The biggest challenge WOW helped Pilar overcome was her fear of knives. Plus, she learned how to take instruction better. Pilar has plans to start taking an English class to improve her knowledge of the language, and she wants to continue learning more about working in a kitchen.

Do you remember what your first day was like at WOW? What do you think of how you felt about that day now?

October 14, 2013, was my first day. I was I little scared because I didn’t know what to expect for the program and also my English is limited. But now when I look back on the first day I am very happy that I got it done.

What were some of your biggest challenges at WOW? How did you get through them?

The biggest challenge is to be able to work with kitchen knife. I have always had a fear of them but Chef Jeff (Koch) helped me work with it. Chef Jeff help me get through the first day of getting knife training and he noticed that when I had the knife in my hand I was shaking. He told me not to be scared about the knife because it was just another utensil in the kitchen.

What are the most important things you learned while you were at WOW?

To feel confident with myself and to able to work in that environment and getting to know the skills to work in the kitchen.

As you were nearing the end of your training, what kinds of differences did you see in yourself?

I saw better confidence in myself to be able to work in the kitchen. I am able to work with a kitchen knife and I don’t feel scared of them.

Did your family or your friends notice a change as well?

My family has noticed a change — how I don’t have fear of knives and that I am able to see them and use them without shaking.

What was the process of finding a job like?

I was able to find work as soon as I finished the program.

How did you feel once you did obtain a job?

I felt very excited and confident with the job because the WOW program gave me the skills and confidence that I need to work in the kitchen.

What are your favorite parts about your new job?

That I am getting more experience in the kitchen. It is similar to the WOW kitchen.

What is one thing you absolutely want people to know about your experience — your time at WOW, your new job, or your life in general?

What I would like the people to know that this a very good program because they help you to gain confidence to work, to develop the skills you need to work in the kitchen.

Want to apply to become a WOW student? For more information about the program or for information about eligibility, call 720-944-3393 or e-mail

*This name has been changed.