Photo taken by: Kristin Thébaud

Women’s Empowerment Holds First Graduation Ceremony At New Facility
Honors 28 Formerly Homeless Women

News

United Way California Capital Region certified nonprofit partner Women’s Empowerment graduated 28 women who were homeless two months ago. This was the first graduation held at the new building of the organization that provides comprehensive job readiness training for women who are homeless.The Women’s Empowerment campus on North A Street more than doubles the organization’s former space and allowed for an outdoor ceremony where women could literally have their day in the sun and celebrate together.

“These women knew early on that growth was only possible if they grew together,” said Aimee Wright, program director. “New life was only possible if they valued what they had to offer each other. And if you know you have something to offer, then you know you have worth. That is why Women’s Empowerment’s Session 51 chose the theme ‘Women of Worth.’”

The graduates’ mentors and families attended the graduation where each graduate shared her story and future plans through poetry and speeches centered on their theme.

“Up until now, I believed I was unworthy of success,” said graduate Amy Mahalo as she spoke to guests. “Now I can say I am a woman of worth. Wow.”

When graduate Heather Mostajo had her turn at the podium, she said, “Today I am a balanced, driven, successful woman who walks with her head held high.”

Each woman accepted a certificate of achievement, received a new, donated handbag filled with a day planner and other items designed to help her succeed, and attended a graduation reception. The bags and reception were sponsored by Dignity Health Mission Services.

Women’s Empowerment offers the only comprehensive job-readiness program in the Sacramento area designed specifically for women who are homeless and their children. The 2009 Nonprofit of the Year has graduated 1,064 homeless women and their more than 2,000 children. Last year, 89 percent of graduates found homes and 78 percent found jobs or enrolled in school or training. The program combines self-esteem courses, job training, health classes and support services to help homeless women across diverse ages, races and cultures. Women’s Empowerment is funded solely through private donations from the community. For more information and to donate online, visit www.womens-empowerment.org .