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Women in



Special Publication of:

The Oakdale Leader The Escalon Times The Riverbank News Wednesday, August 30, 2017

2— Women In Business • Wednesday, August 30, 2017

LulaRoe Offers Mother-Daughter Team A Formula For Success By MARG JACKSON

A firm that started in Corona, California just four years ago has branched

out across the country … and local residents Mindy Gregory and Ashley Romo are proud to be a part of

the family. The mother-daughter team serves as local consultants for LulaRoe, a

Ashley Romo, left, and Mindy Gregory are surrounded by clothing options at Mindy’s Escalon home; the mother-daughter team are part of the LuLaRoe business as independent fashion consultants. PHOTO BY MARG JACKSON

“Allison is not only extremely professional, but also very personable in her communications; which are complete, timely, and regular. No matter who the client is, they all get treated the same and she always ensures excellent service.” — D.H., Modesto, CA – Realtor

“Allison and her team were amazing to work with from day one. They were very friendly and ready to work. My loan closed 15 days early! I can’t say enough good things about my experience.” — T.N., Oakdale, CA – Client

clothing line that is sold primarily online, but also is available through private in-home parties and at ‘pop up’ events around the community. “We work well as a team,” said mom Mindy. The firm was founded by DeAnne and Mark Stidham in 2013, with DeAnne’s flair for clothing design and production coupled with a background in network-based marketing leading the way. Mindy and Ashley now find themselves embracing the fashion consulting career, though it came about for them in a very unusual way. “I won a pair of leggings, I fell in love with them,” daughter Ashley said of receiving a pair of LulaRoe leggings in a drawing.

She shared her love of the leggings with her mom and from there, they not only began to purchase the clothing, they took the leap of faith to join the LulaRoe family. “When we started, we knew at first that every cent (we made) in the business would go back into our inventory,” Ashley explained of building up a supply. Now, a room in Mindy’s home in Escalon is devoted to the clothing, with men’s, women’s and children’s lines all available. The room, which has served as everything from a children’s bedroom to Mindy’s home real estate office to a hobby room over the years, is now filled with racks of clothing and a couple of mannequins outfitted with


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new arrivals. Boxes come in almost daily with new items and both Mindy and Ashley said part of the fun is that they never quite know what they will get – unlike a traditional business where you make a specific order, the LulaRoe items just arrive in sizes and styles the two request. The clothing is marketed as being ‘simply comfortable’ and features vibrant patterns and colors. There are also limited items in each design and not every independent consultant gets the same items. So something that Mindy and Ashley have available might be the only one of its kind in the area. “They’re constantly changing colors and patterns,” Ashley explained

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Women In Business • Wednesday, August 30, 2017 — 3


Continued From Page 2 of the dresses, leggings, skirts, tops and more. “We do online and inhome parties, we had a big party recently at D’Boni’s (in Escalon) and we had a private party in Riverbank recently,” said Mindy. At the in-home parties, hostesses can earn free clothing items based on sales, which is another popular perk. “We got up to 55 items sold,” Mindy explained of the Riverbank party. With a free item for every 10 items sold, the hostess received five free clothing items herself. The parent LulaRoe company also recently partnered with Disney so they now have a selection of Disney-themed items in their collection. The local duo packs

their items into a van to transport them to the private events and the increasingly popular ‘pop up’ parties. Also, the mother-daughter team hosts Facebook Live sales events, showing new arrivals during a live show, broadcast from the clothing room at Mindy’s home, sometimes even modeling the pieces themselves. Ashley’s two older children have also joined the fun, modeling select items during the programs. “My nine-year-old daughter loves to try things on,” she said, adding that her five-year-old son has sold a few items through modeling them. Her youngest, a oneand-a-half year-old son, hasn’t joined the family adventure in modeling just yet. You have to be part of LULAROE Page 4

Hosting Facebook Live sessions regularly, Mindy Gregory, left, and Ashley Romo, displaying a clothing item for the camera, are also busy with in-home parties and pop-up events around the community with their LuLaRoe fashion business. PHOTO BY MARG JACKSON

SOROPTIMIST INTERNATIONAL OF OAKDALE Celebrating 63 years of service to our community! Please join us for our upcoming events: Evening Mixer at Rivi’s - September 14, 2017 Holiday Craft and Goodie Auction - November 29, 2017 Distinguished Young Women of Oakdale - March 10, 2018 Motor Madness Fundraiser - March 24, 2018 Soroptimist is a global volunteer organization working to improve the lives of women and girls through programs leading to social and economic empowerment. For information regarding membership in Soroptimist International of Oakdale check our web site www.oakdalesoroptimist.org or email us at sioakdale@soroptimist.net

Photo Taken at Motor Madness Event

4 — Women In Business • Wednesday, August 30, 2017


Continued From Page 3 the Facebook group to view and shop during the live shows, and you must be approved to join. You can be referred by a friend who wants you to ‘like’ their page or you can visit Shop LulaRoe Ashley and Mindy or go to www.ShopAshleyMindy.com. Ashley can also be reached at 209-556-2078 for more information about the business. “I take photos of everything we have,” Mindy said of also posting the latest arrivals on Facebook. The business has been more successful in just the short time Ashley and Mindy have been consultants than they ever anticipated. And it fits their busy schedules – Mindy is also a local real estate agent, while Ashley home

schools her children through the local Gateway Academy in Escalon. Along with the flexibility, the two love the fact that they are helping customers feel comfortable and confident in a clothing line that can be tailored to their specific tastes. “We have our shoppers, in many cases we know what they like and their styles,” Ashley explained of offering some suggestions for customers. “A lot have also trusted us to choose outfits for them.” Customers can be anywhere in the country, since it is primarily an online based business. “We ship all around the U.S., I put all the packages together, take them to the post office and ship them off with love,” Mindy said, smiling. Of all the aspects of LulaRoe, it is the ability to provide colorful, comfort-

able and fashionable pieces that Mindy and Ashley enjoy the most. That, and working together on a daily basis. “A lot of brick and mortar stores are closing down but we’re flourishing,” Mindy noted of the business climate for them. Clothing lines in a specific style are known by a name, many of them from founder DeAnne Stidham’s own family. Skirts in the Cassie style, for instance, average $35 per piece. Dresses in the Julia line are about $45; shirts in the Mark line for men are $32; tween leggings are $23; pieces in both the Sloan and Gracie children’s lines are $28 – and those are just a few of the lines featured. “We’ve only been doing this since January,” Mindy added of the new business venture. “We started out with 500 (pieces) and now

we have over 1,500.” The two recently returned from a LulaRoe conference in Anaheim and there were 25,000 retailers at the event, including the local duo, giving them the opportunity to share their stories of success and excitement about being part of the growing LulaRoe initiative. Part of the business also includes getting involved in doing some fundraising events, and the two recently hosted a ‘pop up’ gathering at the Escalon Youth Center to benefit the Jim Davis family. The Escalon pastor continues to battle brain cancer and a portion of the pop up event proceeds were donated to the family. It’s part of the firm’s ‘giving back’ approach to life and business. “We run it as a business but what’s fun is helping

make women beautiful,” Ashley said. “The designs are modest and comfortable, attractive to our women customers,” added Mindy. Another key point, Ashley noted, is that the price per piece is the same whether you purchase the smallest extra extra small to the 3XL size – one price fits all – where typically the larger sizes come with an extra charge. The two started the business out of Ashley’s home but quickly decided the front room at Mindy’s would allow for a better ‘showroom’ during the Facebook Live sessions and to accommodate their expanding line of items. “We go live all throughout the week, we offer special styling sessions, we can offer capsule collections, which is five pieces of clothing that all mix together,” Ashley ex-

plained. A lot of their business has come from word of mouth, as people recommend their friends and others join the group. With over 30 different styles in men’s, women’s and children’s clothing, the two said there is likely something for everyone to find and enjoy wearing. “Sometimes I just stop and think ‘This is our job’,” said Ashley of feeling blessed to share the adventure with her mom. “It’s so fun to hang out together.” Mindy agreed that a year ago, she couldn’t have imagined being in a new business venture that has already paid huge dividends; and not only in the financial sense. “It’s amazing,” Mindy said, smiling. “To do it with my daughter, it doesn’t get any better than that.”

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Women In Business • Wednesday, August 30, 2017 — 5

Strategies To Create A Better Work-Life Balance Parents with responsibilities at work and at home commonly struggle to find balance between these two often conflicting sets of obligations. Surveys have indicated that working professionals who work less are more likely to be happy with their work-life balance than those who burn the midnight oil at work, but for many adults, working less is not always an option. Creating a better worklife balance is an ongoing commitment, and even working parents who employ the following strategies may find they need to periodically tweak their routines so they can fulfill their obligations at home and at

the office. Schedule family time. Since working professionals unhappy with their work-life balance often cite lack of family time as the reason for that dissatisfaction, finding time for family may be the key to changing that outlook. Schedule time for family just as you schedule the rest of your daily commitments. Listing family dinners or activities in your daily schedule will ensure you don’t mistakenly schedule other activities during family time. Employ technology where possible. Some working parents may feel as though technology has made it harder than ever to leave work

at the office. But while smartphones, tablets and other devices may mean you’re never too far away from work, technology also can be used to create more time with loved ones. Employ an app such as FaceTime to eat lunch with your spouse or chat with your children each day. Such interactions may not be as enjoyable as face-toface interactions, but building them into your day can help you stay in touch with family and provide a welcome respite from busy workdays. Use your vacation days. A recent study from Project: Time Off, a national movement aimed at highlighting the important role that time

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off from work can play in the lives of professionals, 55 percent of Americans typically do not use their full allotment of vacation days. Professionals who want to create a better work-life balance can examine their vacation day usage and resolve to use them all if they are not already. Parents can use vacation days on national holidays when schools are closed so they can squeeze in family time even when they are not going on trips. Parents who put their minds to it can create a more fulfilling work-life balance.



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6— Women In Business • Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Tips For Women Mulling A Career Change Women considering a career change may experience mixed emotions. The excitement elicited by such a decision may be tempered by fear. Such fear is natural when embarking on a new path and leaving behind some security and professional equity, but that fear should not be the deciding factor when women mull whether or not to change careers. The decision to change careers is something that requires careful thought and ample consideration of a host of factors. Women facing such a decision can consider the following tips to ensure they make the best choice for themselves. Consider your motivation before pursuing a change. The motivation behind a career change can go a long way toward

determining if that change is ultimately successful. Money can be a great motivator, but if money is the only thing driving a change, then women might be better off pursuing new opportunities within their existing field rather than changing careers entirely, as staying within the field will allow women to capitalize on the professional equity they have built over their careers while also providing a new challenge. A genuine interest in another profession or a desire to find a better work-life balance might make for better motivators to change careers than simply switching to make more money. Do your homework. Career changes require hard work and, if extra schooling is necessary, a potentially sizable financial in-

vestment. Women should thoroughly research any fields they might pursue before making a change so they can fully understand the commitment they will need to make. Once they get an idea of what they will need to do to make a successful career change, women should speak with their family to discuss the effects that their pursuit may have on family members. Such a discussion can make the transition to a new career easier, and the support a woman’s family provides along the way can serve as something to lean on if or when things start to feel overwhelming. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Many people are dissatisfied with their careers, and those who aren’t might have been at one time. When mulling a career

change, don’t be afraid to seek help. Help might come from family or friends, but women shouldn’t limit themselves with regard to whose help they will accept. If a woman wants to become a college professor, she shouldn’t hesitate to contact a professor at a local college, explaining her situation and asking for any advice. Women have nothing to lose by reaching out and such help can prove invaluable. And women might be surprised to learn just how willing even strangers might be to lend a hand. Give yourself time. Career changes are rarely an overnight process. Successfully switching careers takes time, so don’t give yourself a quick deadline to make a change. Such pressure likely won’t

Changing careers can be exciting and nervewracking. Affording such a switch the consideration it deserves and doing your homework can help make the switch as successful as you envision it being.

increase your chances of making a successful switch, and you won’t en-

joy the process nearly as much if you bury yourself in pressure.


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Women In Business • Wednesday, August 30, 2017 — 7

Master Hairstylist And Salon Owner Keeps Clients Beautified BY VIRGINIA STILL

From seeing the days of the mullet and the “Rachel” haircut to the more recent hair trends of the ombre and the balayage hairstyles Tonya Stewart has been privy to a myriad of hairstyles and trends with over 30 years in the industry. Currently in her own establishment for the past five years, which is conveniently located at her home east of Oakdale, the owner and stylist of The Studio by Tonya has had a successful run as a beautician and salon owner. “I decided to come home and create the studio by Tonya and turn my pool house into a beauty cave,” stated Stewart. “This (structure) reminded me of studio since it is small and intimate. It is a place where people can come and relax from their stressful lives. We talk about anything and everything and it doesn’t go anywhere.” As a youngster Stewart would give her Barbies

haircuts and bribe her brother to allow her to cut his hair for a handful of milk duds. Although the hair on the dolls did not grow back from these experiences she concluded that she wanted to be a hairstylist. “I wanted to make people feel pretty,” expressed Stewart. “I wanted to be a hair stylist on a cruise ship. So I decided to go to Cosmetology school at age 15 and by the time I was 17years of age I was working in a salon before I even graduated high school.” Starting her career at California Styling which was like a Super Cuts, Stewart was able to practice her stylist skills and then she began to perfect those skills at Creations in Oakdale for several years. She learned how to consult, how to treat customers, giving good customer service, and how to do superb hair. “We did a lot of perms back in the day,” Stewart said with a smile. “At one

time I was considered the Perminator.” Creations later opened another location in Modesto where Stewart worked for 16 years. Then she moved into a little salon and decided that it was time to open her own establishment. “I just had a dream and decided to follow it,” added Stewart. “And next thing you know I was building a 3000 squarefoot salon and day spa called Sanctuary Salon and Day Spa in Modesto. That was in September, 2006. There were 30 people that she was responsible for along with taking on the duties of educational director, marketing director, hairstylist, mother, and many other hats. The experience was enlightening for Stewart; however, after six years she determined it was time to open her own salon without any other staff. “I love that it (salon at her home) is peaceful,” stated Stewart. “I get to

Spending an afternoon with a client and making sure that every strand of hair is placed perfectly, owner and hairstylist Tonya Stewart wants everyone to walk out of The Studio looking beautiful. PHOTO BY VIRGINIA STILL

enjoy my clients one on one and I have no distractions.” Stewart has clients that come from all over the surrounding area and even has one client that makes her way all the way from Monterey to receive that quality service, quality products and a comfortable stress-free intimate environment to literally let your hair down. With an assortment of products for sale and a variety of services like cuts, color, perms, extensions, even waxing and keeping up with current hair trends, Stewart prides herself in maintaining the integrity of her clients’ hair and makes all efforts to keep it looking healthy. “The industry has cre-

The Studio by Tonya has been operating successfully with owner and hairstylist Tonya Stewart for the past five years and is based out of her home. PHOTO BY VIRGINIA STILL

ated a lot of products to help keep your hair healthier so products have gotten better,” added Stewart. “There are still companies that have stuck around for a long time like Redken, Joico, Matrix, and Lanza that

are still holding strong. “I do hair the way that I would want my hair to look like when I walked out. So I continue to educate myself so I can provide the best service and the best quality of service. I aim to please.”

8— Women In Business • Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Synigal Serves As An Inspiration To Many By DENNIS D. CRUZ

Cancer, a snowboarding accident and divorce haven’t been able to stop Desiree Synigal. These difficult times in her life came at an early age but never brought her spirits down or diminished her passion for fitness. Synigal is the owner of The H.I.I.T. Club in Riverbank where she also serves as a personal trainer. “I started personal training in the bigger gyms and what I noticed was that they would keep you limited. By that I mean they would keep you boxed into your limitations and focus on what you can and cannot do. To me I want to help people reach their maximum

goals and achieve what they did not believe was possible,” said Synigal. “I have been in the fitness industry for over 20 years and I have done it all from kickboxing, mixed martial arts, Pilates and anything new that came along; I tried it. The one thing I did notice that worked best was H.I.I.T., High Intensity Interval Training.” Synigal said H.I.I.T. is a good way to bring your heart rate up without being stuck in the same routine. “If you are bored during working out, you are not focused and not motivated. So what I have done is drawn up a plan at each station, and there are usually five stations that they can work out of, and on

the list are different exercises that get your cardio up.” Synigal also realizes that it is not just about what you do in the gym, but what you do to take care of your body outside of the gym too. “You can come into the gym and work out and feel good here, but it won’t make a difference in your results if you are not eating right or taking care of your nutrition value,” she said. At the gym Synigal recommends that you keep a food journal that calculates your calories. This, of course, changes for each client’s personal goals. In August of 2016 Synigal took over the H.I.I.T. Club, now marking her

one-year anniversary. She decided to keep the floor plan the same and kept the boxing feel of the gym as well. “Before I took over, it was strictly a boxing gym. I kept the speed and heavy bags out here because when you train for boxing you are training like an athlete. So the boxers still train here and bring out the jump ropes, punch the bags, lift the weights and that sort of thing, so I kept all of that,” she explained. “That gets your heart rate and cardio up really fast.” The gym itself still has that feel of an old boxing gym. A plain cement floor, air conditioning is limited, and intense workout

H.I.I.T. Club owner and personal trainer Desiree Synigal flexes next to the heavy bags at her Riverbank gym. PHOTO BY DENNIS D. CRUZ


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Women In Business • Wednesday, August 30, 2017 — 9

music playing over the speakers. Kirstin Halstead is a longtime client of Synigal’s and loves working out with her. “I have been training with Desiree for about seven years. She is amazing. She helped train me after my pregnancy. I would not be where I am today without her,” said Halstead. Outside of the gym, Synigal has had her battles. As a young mom, Synigal and her family went on a snowboarding trip. Her oldest son, who was eight at the time and had a background in skateboarding, went down a steep mountain and Synigal chased after him. However, Synigal went down the hill and es-

Kirstin Halstead, a seven-year client of Desiree Synigal, does some weightlifting at the H.I.T.T. Club in Riverbank. PHOTO BY DENNIS D. CRUZ

the fear set in; it took two years to become cancer free. To make things worse, my ex-husband took me to court and

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So as we were leaving he tossed disability papers at me and said that I was going to need these.” Synigal’s refusal to accept the diagnosis without getting more information proved to be the right decision. “Three months later, I walked back into his office. I was dressed up and asked for the doctor. He did not recognize me at all,” she said. “I reminded him who I was and threw the papers back at him.” A few years later she was diagnosed with cervical cancer. “It caught me completely off guard. The same day that I found out, there was a woman in the office that was diagnosed with the same thing. Two and a half months later she passed away. At that moment I realized that this was serious,” she explained. “That’s when



sentially blacked out. “The next thing I remember I woke up in the hospital. I really could not feel my right side, nor did I have sight in my right eye. The numbness went away, and on my next visit to the hospital, I walked in, but had severe pain in my back. The surgeon told me I was in rough shape, and that he was going to fuse my spine resulting in not walking again,” Synigal said of the incident and prognosis. “He (the surgeon) told me that I needed to accept the fact that I was going to be in a wheelchair for the rest of my life. That I would have full use of my upper body just not my legs. I refused to accept this. My mom was with me, so she did not accept this either. It confused us because I walked in to the office. We left his office and went to go get a second opinion.


10— Women In Business • Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Workplace Trends Affecting Administrative Professionals Executives who occupy corner offices tend to get much of the glory for a company’s success. But many professionals know the progress and sustainability of a business tends to lie within the daily services offered by its front line of employees. A number of these seasoned and dedicated workers fall within the category of administrative professionals. Administrative professionals have seen their roles evolve in the changing face of office employment. While some of the more conventional duties that have long been a part of their jobs remain, many now find their roles expanding. Admins who want to stay a step ahead and improve their career opportunities can hone their skills and keep

abreast of the changing trends. A survey sponsored by OfficeTeam and the International Association of Administrative Professionals zeroed in on what hiring managers said they consider are key motivators for hiring admins. The survey found that organizational skills, initiative and attention to detail are some of the most important qualities for support professionals to possess. They also need to have advanced technical skills, as proficiency in Microsoft Office is just the tip of the iceberg. Some employers now require office professionals be skilled at cloudbased apps, social media, database management, and even website maintenance. Long gone are the days when filing papers

and keeping up on company correspondence filled the bulk of an admin’s day. The following are some skills administrative professionals may need to advance their careers. Excellent written and verbal communication: Being bilingual is an added feather in one’s cap. Industry experience: Knowledge regarding how a specific industry and/or business works can help admin professionals. Customer service skills: A friendly but effective demeanor can benefit admins. Filing/billing: An ability to file and/or create financial reports coupled with knowledge regarding how to process invoices can help admins. Flexibility: Admins who can wear many hats are

especially attractive candidates to many businesses, as admins may have to fill in for the duties of an office manager or bookkeeper. Thirst for knowledge: A desire to continue one’s education, including involving oneself in various seminars or training sessions particular to the industry, can help admins. Credentials are soughtafter and include certification in certain industry standard courses. BYOD trends also are rising among administrative professionals. This means workers are able to bring their own computers or other digital devices to work. Admins may be tasked with establishing protocol for security and maintenance of such devices.

The roles of administrative professionals continue to evolve.

Introducing the professional women of… C.T. Brayton and Sons, Inc. is a General Engineering and Building Contractor, established in 1946, incorporated in 1969. We specialize in Educational, Medical, Industrial facilities and Parking Structures. C.T. Brayton & Sons, Inc., has a great team and their present staff is recognized and thanked by current President, Robert Brayton.

Left to right: Katie Anderson–Project Manager, Christie Wilson-Receptionist, Vicky Siegfried-Controller, Kaylan Aufdermaur-Project Manager, Pam Galbreath-Project Coordinator, Bonnie O’Connor-Sr. Staff Accountant, Heather Whitmer–Jr. Staff Accountant, Deanna Shirlock–Sr. Project Manager, Sandy Azevedo–Billing/Payroll Specialist, Stacy Granberg–Safety Manager, Betty Nelson–Jr. Staff Accountant

1804 Jackson Avenue, Escalon • (209) 838-7388 • www.ctbrayton.com License No. 257952

Women In Business • Wednesday, August 30, 2017 — 11

How Busy Moms Can Make Mealtime Easier Working mothers make up a sizable portion of the modern workforce. According to the United States Department of Labor, an estimated 70 percent of mothers with children under the age of 18 are in the labor force. While more and more mothers are returning to work after the birth of their children, that does not mean their responsibilities at home are falling by the wayside. Time-strapped working moms tasked with preparing family meals can embrace some time-saving strategies to make mealtime a little less hectic. Save time during prep Whether it’s breakfast, lunch or dinner, prepar-

ing meals for a family can be time-consuming. When making dinner, keep a plastic shopping bag or bowl on the counter where you can discard scraps such as the skin from onions, fat from chicken and other items that will ultimately end up in the garbage. Discarding all the items into one bag rather than walking back and forth from the garbage to your work area can save time during meal prep. Slow things down Another way to save time at mealtime is to use a slow cooker so meals are cooking during the day while you are at work. Chop vegetables on weekend afternoons or nights and separate ingredients into Ziploc

bags or containers so all of the prep work is done ahead of time. Each morning you can simply unload the bags or containers into the slow cooker, turn it on before leaving for work and then the meal will be ready to eat by the time you and your family arrive home at night. Shop online Many people associate online shopping with clothing and gadgets, but working moms can now buy groceries for their families online as well. Many grocery stores now offer online shopping and pickup services that allow shoppers to fill up their grocery carts before stepping foot in the store. Simply place your order

online and arrange a pickup time and everything will be ready for you when you arrive at the store. This can save you the effort and time spent navigating today’s increasingly large and busy grocery stores. Involve the whole team Working moms who are tasked with family meal planning might want to find healthy meals for their families, but that does not mean they can’t involve the whole family when it comes time to cook. Encourage children to help when preparing meals, assigning age-appropriate tasks. And let dad do some of the work, encouraging him to fire up the grill

Busy working moms can save time by involving the whole family when preparing meals. when the weather permits. Working mothers who play the role of family

meal planner can make this role simpler by employing various timesaving strategies.

Protecting What Matters Most!

• Home • Commercial • Agribusiness • Auto • Life • Health • Workers' Comp • Financial Services www.basiinsurance.com Oakdale I Manteca LIC# 0E28876

^ Our Manteca Office: Dolores Vazquez, Alicia Suarez, Cecilia Vierra, Marchelle Pimentel. Missing: Anita Juarez < Our Oakdale Office: Back row: Donna Tripp, Frankie Womack, Sandy Guerra, Alison Gomes, Lori Segale, Annette Chance. Middle row: Dora Cordova, Isela Nevarez,Tammy Fraga, Debi Lohmann, Rachel Eichhorn, Lisa Padilla. Front row: Karen Basi, Brittney Zurlinden, Leah Tate, Cherilyn Bairos. Missing: Terri Young


12— Women In Business • Wednesday, August 30, 2017

How Women Can Fight Fibromyalgia Pain As the body ages, aches and pains might become more difficult for men and women to handle. While not all pain is indicative of a disorder or condition, aging women who experience pain may be suffering from fibromyalgia. The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases notes that fibromyalgia is a common and chronic disorder characterized by widespread pain. While anyone can get fibromyalgia, the NIAMS that between 80 and 90 percent of those diagnosed are women and that sufferers are most often diagnosed in middle age. Doctors may prescribe medication to help women fight pain resulting from fibromy-

Exercise regularly. Exercising while in pain may seem counterintuitive, but the NIAMS notes that numerous studies have indicated that regular exercise is an effective treatment for fibromyalgia. When beginning a new exercise regimen, take things slowly at first, gradually building up your endurance levels and amping up the intensity of your workouts as your body acclimates itself to exercise. Change your diet. Some women suffering from fibromyalgia have reported feeling better when they began to avoid certain foods, though the NIAMS points out that there is no specific diet connected to reducing fibromyalgiarelated pain. The AARP

algia, and there are some additional ways to combat that pain as well. Get enough sleep. The NIAMS says the getting enough sleep can help ease the pain and fatigue associated with fibromyalgia. To ensure a better night’s sleep, women can adopt sleep schedules so they go to bed and wake up at the same time each day, including on weekends and during vacations. Avoid alcohol and caffeine in the late afternoon and evening, as both substances can make it more difficult to sleep soundly. In addition, avoid reading or working while in bed, as such activities can stimulate the body, making it harder to fall asleep as a result.

notes that foods such as red grapes and cherries and herbs and spices, such as ginger and turmeric, can help aging women combat pain. Examine your work

space. Working women who are dealing with fibromyalgia may benefit by examining their work spaces and adapting those spaces to make them more comfort-

able. Replace desk chairs if they do not provide adequate support and speak with an occupation therapist regarding other ways to make work stations more comfortable.

(L to R) Joan Witt - Store Manager and Leanne Jones Cruz - Owner

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Look for more classes on

clockwise from upper left: MAYRA ARELLANO, TAYLOR PARTENHEIMER, ELLANORE LARGENT (OWNER) AND STEPHANIE VEJAR • Custom Packing & Crating • UPS, FedEX, DHL, USPS Domestic & International • Mailbox Rental with 24 Hour Access • Packaging & Office Supplies • Notary Public • Business Cards & Rubber Stamps • Overnight Delivery

1570 East F Street, Suite A • Oakdale Next to Raley’s

845-8366 • Fax # 845-8364 • Since 2002 www.pakmailoakdale.com

Women In Business • Wednesday, August 30, 2017 — 13

Cash And Keys

Oakdale Realtor Celebrates 21 Years Of ‘Welcome Home’ By TERESA HAMMOND

It is fair to say that Denise Cash has lived a few lifetimes in the real estate business. This year marks the Oakdale Realtor’s 21st year in a business that has seen its fair share of highs and lows. Seventeen of those years have been spent with Century 21 M&M and Associates. A San Diego native, Cash first relocated to Oakdale, by way of Hughson in 1996, the very same year she became an agent. New to the area, the agent acknowledged she was aware of the struggles she might face as a transplant with

no deep rooted ties in the community. “I wasn’t raised that way. I didn’t even think that way,” she said of the warnings she’d experienced regarding cliques. It took seven months of working weekends, evenings and Open Houses before the ‘new kid’ sold her first home. “I just thought, this is what I’ve always wanted to do,” Cash shared. “If my heart always wanted to do something and it’s the desire … Why would I have this desire, if I couldn’t do it.” And do it she did. Within the first two years of hard work and

dedication to her passion, Cash found her niche. Still a bit green, but definitely hungry, in the late ‘90s Cash began partnering with builders and building spec homes on vacant lots. “For years I was a builder’s agent,” Cash stated, noting that she would find land and then work with various builders to produce custom homes on the spaces. It was a niche which served her very well until the market crash of 2006. “I’ve gone through hard times just like everyone else,” Cash shared, acknowledging much of her time in the

business was as a single mom. “When you have no one to depend on but yourself, you do. You have to be tough in this business. You have to live off commission and you just don’t know.” As houses begin to sell and the market returns to seeing positive gains for sellers, Cash has found a way to respond and stay relevant. “I’ve had to reinvent myself,” she said, “because I’ve had to get homes in town and let people know I don’t just sell custom homes.” Part of this reinvention includes a love for older homes, as well as helping guide clients in the way of updates before listing their home. Cash noted

one particular seller who, through $5,000 in kitchen updates, sold their home in a fraction of the time it took prior to partnering with her. “I was meant to do this,” she said of home selling and working with clients. Twenty years later, Cash continues to be a driving force in the market because of her tenacity and commitment to the business and staying current. The most notable change to the market in the past 20 years, she said, is the Internet and how it’s utilized by clients. Agents no longer produce packet upon packet of printouts to show buyers as they tour them around homes.

“Everyone finds their home before you even go out to look at it,” she said. “It’s (the Internet) drastically changed how they view homes. It actually saves us a lot of time.” Now, countless properties and families served later, Cash still points to one simple piece of the career as being the best of the best. “It’s still so rewarding the day you hand somebody the keys and see the excitement,” she said. “There’s always a house for everybody.” To learn more about Cash, her listings or schedule a meeting, visit www.churchtohome. com or call (209)7655528.

Jackie Wozniak

Escalon Body & Frame

Jackie is the friendly voice on the phone helping you with your damaged car. Efficient and professional, she will make sure your vehicle is repaired to the very highest standards of performance. Jackie can help with the insurance claim and billing, easing the difficult process of an auto accident. Customer service is of paramount concern and she will treat you with the utmost courtesy. For almost 17 years, Jackie has been the glue that holds the office together. Stop in and say hello before you need us!

Oakdale Realtor Denise Cash has spent more than 20 years in the real estate business, including 17 with Century 21 M&M and Associates. PHOTO BY TERESA HAMMOND

2228 Main Street, Escalon 209-838-7783

14— Women In Business • Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Community Hospice Continues To Deliver On Its Mission Helping families cope with the last months, weeks or days of a loved one’s life takes a special type of person – and those that answer the call of Community Hospice work can be put into that category. C. DeSha McLeod is one of those people. Here, in a question and answer session, we learn more about this CEO and what her chosen career means to her. Q: First, how did you get involved with Community Hospice and how long have you been part of the organization? A: A little over four years ago while residing in Mississippi, I was contacted by a recruiter and was asked to entertain the open President/CEO position at Community Hospice. Living in Mississippi at

the time and having high school children my immediate response was that it would not be a good fit. The recruiter continued to be persistent as they felt I would be a good fit for the position and persuaded me to make the trip out to California to learn more about the opportunity and organization. It was during that trip that I felt a calling to Community Hospice. I went back to Mississippi, spoke with my family and with their encouragement and support I accepted the position. I moved to Modesto and joined the Community Hospice family in 2013 and have very much enjoyed making the organization and community my home. Can you provide a brief description of your posi-

tion and the duties that go along with it? As the President/CEO I am responsible to the Board of Directors for the management of all aspects of Community Hospice, CHI Management, Inc., and Community Hospice Foundation including the authority of selection, removal and supervision of all employees of the organizations. I am also responsible for the administration of agency policies consistent with the purpose, goals, and objectives established by the Board of Directors and the regulations of licensing agencies. I establish, implement, and evaluate our organization’s goals and objectives for our programs and services that meet and promote the standards of quality and contribute to the total or-

A million thanks to my amazing clients, family and friends for their support, as well as the dedicated realtors I’ve had the pleasure of working with! Karen Postma Serpa, Realtor DRE #01217952

(209) 605-2010 kserpa@pmz.com, PMZ 190 S. Maag Avenue, Ste. A • Oakdale

ganization and philosophy. Is this a staff or volunteer position? The President/CEO position is a staff position. What is your educational/work background? BS in Business Administration from William Carey University, Hattiesburg MS (2001) MBA in Business Administration from William Carey University, Hattiesburg MS (2003) Certified Hospice and Palliative Care Administration, by the Hospice and Palliative Credentialing Center (2017) Prior to joining the Community Hospice family I was the Chief Operations Officer for the Hospice Division of Camellia Healthcare based in Hattiesburg, MS. Of the different community-based events that Hospice hosts, is there one that is your favorite? Besides our hospice services that we offer the community, Camp Erin of the Central Valley is one of my favorite programs. Children can be misunderstood and often overlooked when it comes to the death loss of someone close to them. Camp Erin of the Central Valley offers children and teens a unique opportunity to bond with peers that are going through similar situations and provides resources and needed tools to help them along their grief journey. I am honored to be able to walk alongside many of them providing a listening ear and a hopeful heart. It is encouraging to know that our program can help change the lives of many children and teens in our community and I am extremely proud of that.

C. DESHA MCLEOD Can you quantify the value that Community Hospice brings to the region? As the oldest and largest nonprofit hospice provider in the Central Valley, Community Hospice has walked alongside and assisted thousands of friends and neighbors in our community for nearly 40 years. Founded by two volunteers who had a vision of providing comfort care to terminally ill patients when curative measures were exhausted, Community Hospice has evolved from where it began in 1979. Our mission is to provide compassionate and quality care, education and support to terminally ill patients and their families, regardless of ability to pay. Services go beyond hospice support offering grief support services to anyone in the community that has experienced a death loss. We believe no one has to walk their journey alone and are honored many community residents turn to us in their time of need.

If someone needs your services, how do they go about getting in touch with the organization? For information regarding Community Hospice programs and services, community residents can call our main number at (209) 578-6300 or visit hospiceheart.org. To make a referral for hospice support, residents and physicians may call the Community Hospice Care Services Department directly at (209)578-6340. What do you enjoy most about what you do? Every day I have the privilege of working with incredible people in our community. Being a part of the Community Hospice family is a gift that I am thankful for daily. I have the rare honor of working alongside talented and kind hearted staff that are mission driven to make a difference for our community friends and neighbors. Community Hospice allows me the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others.

Women In Business • Wednesday, August 30, 2017 — 15

Making The Post-Maternity Leave Transition Back To Work Go Smoothly The average length of maternity leave varies depending on geography, but the vast majority of new mothers take time away from work upon giving birth. Maternity leave affords women the opportunity to connect with and provide for their babies, while hopefully giving new mothers some time to recover from childbirth as well. When maternity leave ends, the transition back to work can be difficult. New mothers often struggle when the time comes to leave their babies at daycare, with a nanny or with a relative. Adding to that emotional difficulty, women also face the task of diving back into their careers and all the responsibilities that come with those careers. While returning to work after maternity leave

can be difficult, the following tips might help women make the transition go more smoothly. Give yourself a grace period. Even if you’re accustomed to going full bore at the office, the first days or even weeks after returning from maternity leave will be anything but ordinary. Give yourself a grace period upon returning to work, gradually easing back in rather than expecting to dive right in with both feet on your first day back. Not taking on too much too quickly can help you adjust to your new reality and give you time to cope with any emotions you might be feeling about leaving your child with a caregiver. Arrange to work remotely one or two days per week. Another way to reduce the

likelihood of being overwhelmed upon returning from maternity leave is to attempt to work remotely one or two days per week. Speak with your employer about making such an arrangement permanent or temporary, explaining how even working from home just a single day per week might help you calm your nerves about dropping a child off with a caregiver. Thanks to the cost savings and advancements in technology, many employers are now more amenable to allowing staffers to work remotely. But new moms won’t know their employers’ point of view on working from home unless they ask. Take the full leave. A study published online in the Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law found

a direct link between the length of maternity leave and the risk of postpartum depression. Researchers followed more than 800 women in their first year after giving birth and found that women at six weeks, 12 weeks and six months of maternity leave had lower postpartum depression scores than their peers who returned to work. Postpartum depression can produce a host of unwanted symptoms, including a lack of interest in daily tasks and too little sleep, each of which can affect a mothers’ performance at work. By taking the leave afforded to them by their employers and/or local laws, women may reduce their risk for postpartum depression, which can make their transitions back to work that much easier.

Returning from maternity leave can be hard on new mothers, but there are ways to make the transition go smoothly. Take breaks during the day. Frequent, short breaks during the workday can benefit all employees, but especially new mothers returning to work after maternity leave. Returning to work can feel overwhelming, and routine breaks provide mothers

with chances to catch their breath. Studies have indicated that such breaks also can reenergize workers, an especially useful benefit for new mothers who are likely not getting as much sleep as they were accustomed to prior to giving birth.

River Oak Dental Spa Tourtlotte Dental Corp Christina Tourtlotte, DDS Andrea Pezoldt, DDS

1473 East G St., Ste. C Oakdale, CA 95361 • (209) 848-8074 www.riveroakdentalspa.com


ing Whiten E! IF L FOR




River Oak Dental Spa is the dental practice of Dr. Christina Tourtlotte who has been operating her family dental practice in Oakdale since 1994. The office is equipped with state of the art technology for the dental practice and several features to present a relaxing, pleasant and spa like atmosphere for the patient. The dental office has chairs which give the patient a gentle massage, digital radiograph x-rays, in chair patient entertainment systems, and the ability to use nitrous oxide to ease patient anxiety. The office décor includes running water fountains to enhance the soothing atmosphere. Some spa treatments are available on a periodic basis. In February 2013, the office introduced our patients to the newest state of the art technology, the CEREC. The CEREC is a sophisticated CAD/CAM System for the production of all ceramic inlays, onlays, partial crowns, veneers, and crowns for anterior and posterior teeth.

Andrea Pezoldt, DDS and Christina Tourtlotte, DDS

Dr. Christina Tourtlotte is an Oakdale native and the 1989 Oakdale Rodeo Queen. She received her Doctor of Dental Surgery from the University of the Pacific School of Dentistry where she graduated with honors in 1992. Dr. Andrea Pezoldt joined our office in January 2009. Andrea graduated from University of the Pacific Dental School, and has been practicing for 22 years. River Oak Dental Spa is welcoming new patients and featuring laser whitening and office bleaching. Free Whitening for life! Call for details. We thank our patients for their business and we appreciate your referrals.

16— Women In Business • Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Ways Established Professionals Can Improve Their Résumés Changing jobs can be a difficult decision to make, especially later in one’s career. In many ways, landing a new job is more challenging than ever thanks to the technology-driven society in which people live. Information is shared faster than ever, and applying for jobs isn’t the same as it might have been as recently as a decade ago. One thing that has evolved is the résumé. Although creating a powerful résumé has always been a challenge, writing – or modifying one – for today’s digital world requires some insider tips. Adapting a résumé as one ages and has gained experience can be advantageous. A well-crafted résumé is one way for professionals to demon-

strate how their skill set is current and adaptable to today’s business climate. The following tips can help improve a résumé when the time comes to move on to a new job. Focus on your accomplishments Rather than focusing on job responsibilities at each job you held, gear the résumé around what you achieved in each position. This will help identify how you performed in the position, instead of just a general retelling of what you did. It can be challenging to achieve this for jobs that don’t naturally lend themselves to numerically quantitative results (i.e., increased department sales by 15 percent), but it’s still pos-

sible to use a résumé to illustrate your achievements. Rather than state that you were responsible for providing customer service, explain that you built your reputation on conveying difficult technical terms to the layperson, serving as the go-to employee for translating job jargon for outside correspondence. If you have quantitative proof of how you accomplished something, certainly add it. This can include measures of profit growth, reduction of debt or increase in customer base. Aim for the future Rather than emphasize what you did, highlight what you plan to do. This means giving

greater weight to the expertise that will translate into your new position. Chances are you can find skills that you honed in one or more jobs that translate into credentials that can be used on another. All of the skills mentioned should be relevant to your career objective and not just added to pad the résumé. Therefore, unless your brief stint waiting tables exemplifies how you developed customer service skills, eliminate it. Choose the right keywords It’s important to optimize a résumé for digital scanning, which has become a major component of the employment sector. This includes using the correct

Come in and Meet the Women of

B k Row: Back R Jackie J ki Bustos, B Meranda M d Ulrich, Ul i h Rene Moreno, Yvette Vazquez, Diana James, Sara Garcia Front Row: Lixia Lemus, Karlie Reep, Yareli Navarro. Not Pictured Lupe Ordaz

1080 West F Street, Oakdale

Next to Subway & Sara’s Dry Cleaners


keywords and phrasing so that your résumé will get ‘flagged.’ Take your cue from the job advertisements themselves and mimic the verbiage used. Replace the lingo accordingly; tailoring it to each job you apply for. Also, consult the ‘about us’ area of a prospective employer’s website. This area may offer clues about buzz words for the industry. Set yourself apart Engage in activities that can improve your marketability. Be sure to list training, coursework, degree, or volunteer efforts that pertain directly to the skills needed for the job to which you’re applying. These additions can tip the scales in your favor over another

Job applicants of all ages need to customize their résumés to reflect the preferences of today’s recruiters. applicant. Résumés continue to evolve, and it is crucial for applicants – especially established workers – to familiarize themselves with the changes and market themselves accordingly.


Lixia Lemus - is our newest staff member. She is a Registered Technician and prides herself on accuracy and efficiency. Diana James - Has been working at River Oak Pharmacy for 18 years. She is an expert at dealing with insurance challenges. She helps our Spanish speaking patients, and enjoys helping all our patients get their prescriptions filled accurately and quickly. Rene Moreno - Is a Registered Technician, has been working for River Oak Pharmacy for 22 years, and is working in our compounding lab making custom prescriptions to meet our patients’ individual needs. Meranda Ulrich - Is a Registered Technician, assists Rene in the compounding lab, and has been helping patients at River Oak Pharmacy for over 5 years. Yvette Vazquez - Is a patient service expert. She is bilingual and is eager to help all of our patients. Sara Garcia - Is a Registered Technician, and has been working at River Oak Pharmacy for 18 years. She is an excellent patient-oriented technician. She also helps our Spanish speaking patients. Yareli Navarro - Is a bilingual patient support expert. She is always helpful to our patients. Karlie Reep - Is a Registered Technician. She is excellent at meeting patient’s needs, from Diabetic Shoes to Wheelchairs to Prescriptions. Jackie Bustos - Is a bilingual patient service expert who works diligently to get your medications in your hand and out the door as quickly as possible. Lupe Ordaz - Is a Registered Technician and our customer service expert.

Women In Business • Wednesday, August 30, 2017 — 17

How Young Women Can Land The Right Internship Internships provide great opportunities for young women to get their professional feet wet. While classroom lessons provide theoretical senses of what a profession might be like, an internship gives an actual sense, shedding light on how a particular business or industry operates. In its Class of 2015 Student Survey, the National Association of Colleges and Employers found that women (65.8 percent) were slightly more likely to have had an internship than men (64.6 percent). Competition for internships can be steep, and young women who want to set themselves apart from the field can employ various strategies as they search for internships. Learn the recruiting

schedule. Some professions may recruit interns year-round, while others may only look for interns during particular times of the year. Speak with your academic advisor or someone in your college or university’s career placement department to determine when opportunities in your field are most likely to be available, and make sure your materials (i.e., résumé and portfolio) are ready when that recruiting season begins. Don’t limit yourself. Cast a wide net when searching for an internship. If you want to be an investment banker, landing an internship that allows you to work alongside investment bankers may be ideal. However, limiting yourself to only those opportunities may be pro-

hibitive, and you may end up with nothing. Maintain an open mind when pursuing internships. Even if you don’t land your dream internship, another opportunity may provide lots of hands-on experience while also allowing you to get your foot in the door. Tell the truth. Embellishing your résumé might help you get an interview, but chances are the interviewer will learn pretty quickly if your purported skills are authentic. Internship programs are designed for students with little or no experience who might one day turn into valued employees. If a company suspects an internship candidate of embellishing her skills and experience now, that candidate might never get her foot back in the door. Tell

Young women looking for internships can take various steps to ensure they land the most beneficial opportunities available to them. the truth and express your excitement at any opportunity that allows you to apply classroom lessons in real world settings. Don’t accept just any internship. Not every in-

ternship is worth the effort. While interns may be asked to perform some menial tasks during their internships, the right opportunities afford interns the chance to get profes-

sional experience and interact with working professionals. If an opportunity is largely or exclusively clerical, you might be better off continuing your search or volunteering with a firm.

Susan Creedon, CPA Certified Public Accountant

At Susan Creedon, CPA, we recognize the importance of maintaining close personal relationships with our clients. We are pleased that so many of our clients have been with us for many years, including those who have moved out of state. By combining our expertise and experience we are able to offer a broad range of tax and accounting services. We are dedicated to finding the accounting strategy that fits your needs and ensures your financial success.


219 N. Second Ave., Oakdale • 322-3725

Where our family treats you like family


ith 28 years in the industry Lucy brings experience, knowledge, professionalism, and service to you day in and day out. Besides being an agency owner with her husband she also brings corporate insurance company experience so she knows the business from all sides. As an Independent agent she represents a variety of carriers which allows her to look for the best product for your needs at the best price. Lucy knows your time is valuable so as a full service agency writing all lines of insurance she welcomes the opportunity to service ALL your insurance needs now and in the future. Contact her for a no obligation quote or come by their new office.

100 Laurel Avenue, Oakdale • 847-8025


18— Women In Business • Wednesday, August 30, 2017


With three weekly newspapers, the 209 Magazine and multiple special sections and additional publications produced throughout the year, there’s never a dull moment for the ladies of The Oakdale Leader, The Escalon Times and The Riverbank News. From writing to photography, sales to billing, classifieds to customer service, the multitalented group is on the job. Shown, from left, Maddie Marhulik, Autumn Neal, Michelle Kendig, Melody Wann, Teresa Hammond, Marg Jackson, Colette Robison, Lisa Garcia, Corey Rogers, Virginia Still. PHOTO BY DENNIS D. CRUZ

Put my 20+ years of real estate experience and C21 M&M's network of 31 offices to work for you!

Oak Valley Community Bank Women in Business

Here's what one of my clients had to say:

"I trust Denise's advice and judgement and would highly recommend her." -Diane Stone Gilbert Elisa Luna

Denise Cash, Realtor®

Oakdale Branch Manager

Tara Lee

Oakdale Assistant CSM

Laura Weaver

Kim Karp





Oakdale Area Specialist Centurion Honor Society Recipient 1414 East F Street • Oakdale

(209) 765-5528 dcash@century21mm.com Lic#01224079

www.ovcb.com Oakdale • Sonora • Modesto • Turlock Patterson • Ripon • Escalon Stockton • Manteca • Tracy

Member FDIC

Escalon Branch Manager

Escalon CSM

Women In Business • Wednesday, August 30, 2017 — 19

Tips For Professionals Returning To School When a new school semester starts, children and young adults may not be the only ones who are returning to the classroom. Many adults resolve to expand their professional horizons by returning to school even after they have established themselves in their professions. Some may aspire to develop skills specific to a particular job, while others may want to make it easier to transition to a new career. The number of adult undergraduates continues to grow. The National Center for Education Statistics says 33 percent of the 18 million undergraduate students in the United States are over the age of 25. Students over the age of 30 make up 22 percent of the student body in colleges and universities.

The NCES also projects a continued rise of older students through 2020. Going back to school can be an exciting time, but one that also comes with a bit of trepidation. Many adults may not have been in a classroom in more than a decade. Many things have changed with regard to academia in recent decades, and adults may need some extra time and help to make their transition back to student go smoothly. Schedule a campus visit. Choosing a school is an important decision, and even though you might not be spending as much time on campus as you did when you were younger, don’t overlook the importance of a campus visit. A member of the admissions faculty or even a current student may

be able to offer a guided tour, explaining the layout of the campus, amenities and resources. He or she also may point out parking areas, study locations and the best way to navigate the campus. This will help alleviate a fish-out-of-water feeling the first day of class. Secure financial aid if necessary. School is expensive, but keep in mind that scholarships and other forms of financial aid are not exclusive to younger learners. Speak with a financial aid counselor about programs that might be available to you. In addition, check with your employer to see if they offer incentives for returning to school. Brush up on school skills. Start reading more to refresh your vocabulary

and other language skills. College involves critical thinking and reasoning, so explore free online courses or games that cover critical thinking skills. Refresh your memory on basic writing rules if essays and reports will be part of your curriculum. Honing your academic skills in advance of returning to school can help you start off on the right foot. Create a support system. Going back to school will require you to rearrange schedules and make certain sacrifices. Such adjustments may require the assistance of friends and family. Stop by your school’s student services department and ask if they have help in place for nontraditional students. They may have guidance on

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balancing work, life and school. Such departments may also assist you with scheduling classes at the times of day that fit best with your work schedule.

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Many adults return to school for personal reasons or to advance their careers. Having a plan in place can make the transition go smoothly.

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