After a successful start to her career, Jen made the tough decision to take a step back from work to raise her children and support her aging mother. Nearly 21 years later, Jen was ready to re-enter the workforce but was unsure where to begin.
“I was really intimidated. It threw my confidence for a loop,” Jen said.
She discovered PA Women Work’s 3 Cups of Coffee program and was connected with a volunteer mentor, Midori Vasquez. The two found common ground in their first meeting and built a relationship from there.
“We initially started talking about our personal life. We have children about the same age. She explained to me she was out of the workforce for 18 years. And I’m thinking, okay, there are other people out there like me,” Jen remembered.
Feeling uncertain of what her next step should be, Jen and Midori worked together to revise her resume, discuss opportunities she’d be qualified for, and set achievable goals.
“She helped me understand that she couldn’t do it for me. I had to do it myself. But she gave me the tools and the encouragement,” Jen said.
“She had the confidence in herself, I just helped her find it again,” Midori said.
Shortly after beginning the program, Jen received a job offer from Bettis Atomic Power Laboratory and looks forward to continuing her career growth and achieving her goals.
“Getting that acceptance letter was, do I say I felt whole again? I felt like I did this. I did this for myself. I have had a smile on my face ever since,” Jen said.
To learn more about 3 Cups of Coffee, visit www.3cupsofcoffee.org. Jen was one of our 2023 Client Empowerment Award winners at Circle of Hope. Watch her full story below.
While in the United States on a trip with her family, Serap learned about chaos and controversy happening in her home country, Turkey. She and her husband made the incredibly tough decision to stay in the United States to protect themselves and their two daughters.
“It was a really big decision. We had everything in our home country. But we had to do what was needed to keep our kids safe,” Serap reflected.
After starting their lives from scratch, Serap and her husband began to seek employment that was both meaningful and economically sustainable. With 18 years of teaching experience, Serap struggled to map out a career path without her credentials to pursue a teaching position.
“I love teaching. To think I might never teach again or find a fulfilling job was very disappointing,” Serap said.
She discovered PA Women Work where she participated in New Choices and RISE. She found a community of other job-seekers and received one-on-one career coaching to learn how she could use her teaching skills and background toward a new position.
“I saw that I was not alone. PA Women Work helped me see other options and search for different opportunities,” Serap explained.
Serap landed a job with Jewish Family and Community Services of Pittsburgh as a case worker and has found a passion for supporting new Americans as they get settled here. “I can say I am really proud. I have the opportunity to help others and touch lives in my job.”
Serap was one of our 2023 Client Empowerment Award winners at Circle of Hope. Watch her full story below.
participated in the program again to find assistance with the current barriers she faced to employment.
“Job hunting can be a very lonely experience and can be very discouraging,” said Paula. I signed up again, because I wanted to have a positive job hunting experience rather than it on my own.”
Paula’s New Choices facilitator, Julie Evans, helped her navigate the challenges she was experiencing and supported her every step of the way. After completing New Choices this time around, Paula found a job working as a patient advocate coordinator for Envera Health.
“New Choices helps remind you that you are not alone,” said Paula. “There are people going through the same thing you are.”
To get started on your journey to success, visit www.pawomenwork.org/for-job-seekers.