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Summer 2018










MyWRC | Programs That Fit Your Life


April Coulson at her J. Jill fitting. Page 4.


Letter from WRC President & CEO, Ashley Brown It takes a village.


J. Jill’s Woman of the Quarter Meet our cover girl, April Coulson.


Stronger Together: HOPE Family Services, SPARCC, and WRC join forces to better serve our community.


WRC Wonder Women: Manatee inducts new class for 2018.


Volunteer Spotlight: Cheers to 18 years for Jean Abrams.


Female Relationships: The importance of your Girl Squad.


Mentoring: It (also) takes a village!


WRC Inbox: Advice from You Are Worthy facilitators.


Unique Boutique: Change an outfit, change a life.


Latinas of the WRC: Reflecting on the life of Maria Zavala.


WRC Scholarship: 22 Scholarships Awarded. MYWRC MAGAZINE HEADQUARTERS

Unique Boutique of WRC volunteers. Page 15.

1926 Manatee Avenue West Bradenton, FL 34205 Phone: (941) 256-9721 • Fax: (941) 708-9557 MyWRC.org • info@MyWRC.org PRESIDENT AND CEO


Mandy Quinones

Board Chair

Gray Videnka Vice-Chair

Reba Rogers Treasurer

Michael Prohidney Secretary

Suzanne Fugate

Immediate Past Chair

2018 Manatee Wonder Women. Page 8. MyWRC MAGAZINE • 941-256-9721 2

Kimberly Bald, Esq. Jaymie Carter Nancy Christian Pauldie Howrigan Melissa Karp Elsbree, Esq. Cynthia Sharpe Malkin Brenda Parker



Ashley Brown President and CEO

irst, I want to thank everyone for the feedback on our MyWRC magazine. There has been an overwhelmingly positive response to the articles and information. I invite you to continue to give us feedback….most importantly opportunities for improvement…any feedback is truly appreciated. When we had the idea of putting together a magazine to share stories about WRC and create content that would be informative and interesting to our readers it seemed like such a simple idea. In truth, it takes a lot of work to put together this publication. In addition to staff, we have wonderful volunteers who share their time and talent with us and contribute to the content. Pam Truitt, thank you for your photography skills. We have a number of contributing columnists: Tamara Chapman, Sandy Chase, Grier Ferguson, Dr. Karen Koenig, Joanne Fabec and Kelly Davis Strausbaugh. You are all so talented and we appreciate all you do for our community and WRC! I love the theme of this season’s magazine. There is truth to the saying “it takes a village,” and I love the girl squads/tribes. The reality is we all need a support system of friends to help us deal with the ups and down of life. It is not always about support; sometimes it is perspective. Recently I had the opportunity to spend some quality time with some close friends and it had been a while since we had a chance to just visit with one another and catch up on each other’s lives. It was wonderful! We were able to celebrate some good news, share the weight of some concerns and laugh…there is always a lot of laughter when we get together. It reminds me of the importance of having a solid group of friends who love you, support you and give you truth. As I have been finishing my article, I cannot help but reflect on the recent deaths of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain. Two people that seemingly had everything to live for but obviously struggling so much that they chose to end their lives. It is a good reminder for all of us that “things” are not always what they seem. It also highlights the importance of reducing (eliminating) the stigma of asking for and receiving help when we need it most. We all have struggles and worries… even those who appear to have it all together. We have been talking about a campaign at WRC where we encourage people to share their struggles, fears or failures. It might sound cheesy or cliché, but there is comfort in knowing that you are not the only one who feels a certain way, or is struggling with a relationship, job, etc. Would YOU be willing to share your story? As you read the article on mentoring and find you are interested in becoming a mentor, let us know. For that matter, please feel free to reach out with questions or comments to any of us at the WRC; we want to hear from you! Call us at (941) 256WRC1 (9721), or email info@MyWRC.org. Enjoy the rest of your summer!

We all need a support system of friends to help us deal with the ups and down of life.




Drawing Up the Career of Her Dreams B Y G R I E R F E R G U S O N • P H O T O S B Y PA M T R U I T T




April Coulson


here are three things in life April Coulson loves to do: garden, dance and draw. She grows everything — flowers, herbs and vegetables. “I really like to grow kale,” Coulson says. “I like to eat it, and it’s fun to watch it grow into little kale trees.” She has a passion flower vine she tends to as well, always waiting for it to bloom. “They’re amazing, those flowers.”

And there was that one time she grew an heirloom tomato that was the best tomato she’s ever tasted. Coulson’s love of dance is in her blood. Her grandparents met on the dance floor, and her mom loved to dance. She enjoys nights out when she can just have fun dancing with her friends. But drawing has always held a particularly special place in Coulson’s life. “I love to draw,” she says. “That goes back to probably when I was two years old. Kids love to draw, but I never stopped loving to draw.” Coulson grew up in Milwaukee and got a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in illustration from the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design. “I especially love to draw the human figure and faces and hands, and I paint, too,” Coulson says. “Drawing is so calming. It’s very relaxing and it’s peaceful. It just takes me to another place in my mind — a great place to be.”


A Resource for the Future oulson turned her love of drawing into a career as a graphic designer. She first came to the Women’s Resource Center in 2006 when she was looking for a job after someone recommended WRC’s employment services to her. That year, WRC helped her with her resume and tips about how to make work connections.

In spring 2017, after 15 years in the graphic design and illustration field, both working full time for companies and serving her own clients as a freelancer, Coulson thought of WRC again. This time, she wanted to transition from freelancing to working as a company’s in-house graphic designer. “I thought, ‘I know it’s a great place to go, so I’m going to go back,’” she says. Coulson started taking advantage of WRC’s employment program at the organization’s Sarasota and Bradenton offices. She went to classes about topics including how to write a resume to what to say during a job interview. 4

MyWRC MAGAZINE • 941-256-9721


“I met all kinds of women,” she says. “It was fun getting “We’ve been working together for a while, and she’s together with them and learning together.” met and exceeded all of her goals,” Roden says. “She’s someone who is really easy to work with because she’s Jay Lemmel, an employment and career counselor open to feedback and she wants to improve.” Today, at WRC, and Jane Bubinak, a resume coach at WRC, Roden and Coulson still talk, and the mentorship is helped Coulson polish her resume and guided her job going strong. search. Next she visited WRC’s Career Closet to find business clothes for job interviews. “The Career Closet In all, WRC offered support for months, Coulson says. is outstanding,” she says. “What a great resource.” “I hadn’t done this in a long time,” she says of her job search. “Things keep changing in the workforce, and As part of WRC’s employment program, Coulson was they had the latest information.” matched with a mentor — Kim Roden — a peer resource advisor and mentor for WRC. Coulson and Roden met Next Step: New Job in person and talked on the phone, and Roden became fter receiving help from WRC, Coulson a regular sounding board for her. “She helps me figure says she was empowered for the next things out,” Coulson says. “She has ideas that I wouldn’t step. “I felt well prepared,” she says. have had.” She started applying for jobs, and soon The mentorship program at WRC matches clients with the mentor who might be best able to help that specific client. “No two clients have the same need, and you really have to make an effort to understand what they want to do and help them make a map to get them there,” says Roden.


started work as a graphic designer at Sarasota-based Freeheart/Covo Drinkware, which manufactures thermal insulated tumblers.

Coulson is part of a team of graphic designers at Freeheart/Covo who create drinkware designs, files for printing, and other projects - from designing If Coulson’s employment goals were a journey of 1,000 digital marketing advertisements to brochures steps, Roden says, “Coulson has walked them all.” promoting the company. “I get to be creative, and I also really enjoy the problem-solving aspect of preparing the files to print because there’s a lot to consider to make it look like you want it to look,” she says. “It’s sort of like doing a puzzle, and it’s kind of fun in that regard.” Coulson is already looking forward to her future at Freeheart/Covo. “I’d really like to grow with this company. It’s a young company, the owner has a wonderful outlook on life and vision for the future, and the product is excellent. This is really a wonderful situation for me. I think I would have to say this is the best in-house working situation I’ve been in.” Her days include a wide variety of tasks, from designing products to prepping files, but Coulson doesn’t have a favorite part of her job. “That’s because of a simple truth: I just really like all of it. I was telling my boss, and it’s the honest truth — ‘I really like my job, and I really like what I’m doing.’ That hasn’t always been the case in my life, but this is really a neat place.” MyWRC.org


Stronger Together


When women support each other, they can accomplish great things. Similarly, when local organizations working to better the lives of women support each other, they become much more powerful. At WRC we are proud of our collaborative programming and work with over 40 nonprofits in our region. This quarter we want to spotlight the relationship we have with our partners who handle the very important work of domestic violence prevention. WRC is often the first call that women and families make when they are struggling in our community. Aside from the over 10,000 hours of programming we provide directly to our clients, we serve as a conduit to our community partners. We track our referrals and provide more than 2,000 referrals a year. 10% of these referrals are made to our partner agencies who serve victims of domestic violence, HOPE Family Services (HOPE) in Manatee county and Safe Place and Rape Crisis Center (SPARCC) in Sarasota and DeSosto counties. Our relationship with HOPE and SPARCC goes beyond referring clients to one another. We know that by collaborating with one another we are giving more women and families a chance to connect with the services they need. One example is the Evaluating Unhealthy Relationship program held at the Manatee Center of WRC. This ongoing educational support group brings together women who are struggling with relationships. This course is available to women who want to make safe, healthy decisions for themselves, how to understand the broad range of abusive and/or controlling relationships and how to set boundaries in their relationships. This program has been going strong for more than a decade in Manatee County, and WRC and SPARCC recently established an expansion of the Evaluating Unhealthy Relationships program to the WRC’s Sarasota Center. “By collaborating, our agencies are able to expand programs and become more efficient in the delivery of services,” says President and CEO


MyWRC MAGAZINE • 941-256-9721

By collaborating, our agencies are able to expand programs and become more efficient in the delivery of services.

of SPARCC, Jessica Hays. “Through a shared core value of empowering women, we focus on complimenting instead of competing with each other. The end result of our strategic collaborations is that all of our organizations are stronger.” Laurel Lynch, the CEO of HOPE Family Services, agrees, adding that the collaboration has become more than she ever imagined. “When the idea of HOPE, SPARCC and WRC working together came up, it seemed simple — together, the three organizations could improve the quality of services offered by each agency,” Lynch says. “We could move away from any cookie-cutter models of assistance to a system that we could tailor to participants’ individual needs by drawing on the strengths of what each organization does best.”

WRC President & CEO, Ashley Brown pictured with (left) CEO of HOPE Family Services, Laurel Lynch and (right) President & CEO of SPARCC, Jessica Hays

The positive, unintended consequences of the trio coming together pleasantly surprised her and her team.

For more Information, visit :

“Each organization saved money by sharing space,” Lynch says. “We were able to reach more individuals as women could walk in any of our three doors and receive the right services, and spreading the word became easier as all of the organizations’ staff members were promoting a united message.”

HOPEFamilyService.org AND SPARCC.net

The lesson she and her co-collaborators learned from this experience is invaluable.


“Together we can do more for participants and the community while saving donors’ money,” Lynch says. “What’s not to love about that?”


Along with expanded programming, HOPE, SPARCC and WRC also collaborate on advocacy events. We want EVERYONE in the community to know about the services we offer and that there is help for those who need it. Three years ago, HOPE and WRC started a yearly event to raise awareness and funding for our organizations and last year SPARCC joined the event. The event has been a luncheon in the past, but THIS year we are changing up the format a bit: Handbags & Happy Hour. The event will take place on Thursday, October 18, at the Lakewood Ranch Golf and Country Club. MyWRC.org

Guests at Empower Your Purse event in Fall 2017 7


WRC’S WONDER WOMEN Manatee Inducts a New Class for 2018


In April, the WRC’s Founders’ Legacy Luncheon returned to IMG Academy Golf Club where supporters gathered to celebrate the induction of this year’s Wonder Women of Manatee. The honorees included Bradenton Police Chief, Melanie Bevan, Ed.D., Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Diana Greene, and Dr. Teresa Rawe, medical director of emergency medicine at Manatee Memorial Hospital. WRC Wonder Women are female leaders within our community who have made outstanding contributions in volunteer and/or professional activities in the areas of Business, Community Leadership, Education, Healthcare, Entrepreneurship, or Lifetime Achievement.

Inaugural MyWRC Magazine cover girl, Dylan Howell, and fellow WRC supporter, Kelly Davis Strausbaugh shared the meaning behind inspirational message boards signed by luncheon attendees. “Our intention in the boards was to create something tangible so that the clients could see the support from community,” Strausbaugh said. The message boards will be hung in the classroom of the Manatee Center where clients will see them daily.


WRC’s Venice Wonder Women will be recognized on Friday, November 2, 2018 at Plantation Golf & Country Club. Who will be this year’s honorees? You will have to join us to find out!

MyWRC MAGAZINE • 941-256-9721



On Wednesday, May 16th, the Women’s Resource Center held a retirement party for one of our beloved volunteers, Jean Abrams. It was during her retirement party that we learned of how WRC played a role in Jean and her husband Joe moving to Sarasota. Joe shared the story of them visiting different cities as they contemplated where they were going to spend their retirement years.

Jean Abrams

While visiting Sarasota, Jean spotted an ad in the paper for a WRC program, Tomorrow’s Woman, which she decided to attend. She went back to the hotel, where she and Joe were staying, and announced that they were moving to Sarasota and she was going to volunteer at the Women’s Resource Center. Her first volunteer role at WRC was a Peer Resource Advisor (PRA). A PRA is someone who listens without judgement and helps clients prioritize their needs. They can recommend community resources and enroll clients in WRC programs as well. It was through her role as a PRA that she identified areas that WRC could improve and expand programming, especially the career development programs. Jean raised the funds for a computer lab and space for women who were working on finding a job. The next time you are in the Sarasota Center, visit the second floor where we still hold computer classes, workshops and seminars in the Jean Abram’s Career Center. Throughout the years Jean expanded her role at the Center, she taught computer classes, served on the Renaissance Luncheon committee, where she worked with our past Executive Director Janice Zarro on the seating chart every year! Jean has been an advocate for WRC, always sharing stories about our clients and the life changing work we do at our Centers. If you know Jean Abrams, we are willing to bet she asked for your support of WRC! Through her 18 years at WRC, Jean was witness to growth, changes in leadership, and more. Throughout it all, she stayed focused on one thing, the mission and the clients we serve. Jean’s legacy will always be a part of the Center as it continues to engage, educate, enrich, and empower women of all generations. Thank you, Jean for your love and dedication to the women of our community and the work WRC does to support them! MyWRC.org


Female Relationships:

The Importance of Having a Girl Squad By Kelly Davis Strausbaugh At first glance, this will seem like a young adult novel, meant to fascinate middle school girls with tales of mean high school bullies, how to ace that math final and how to find confidence while struggling with the inevitable acne and braces combination that seems to haunt us all well into our thirties. Using the term “girl squad” may seem silly or way too feminine for your taste and I get it, I do. It’s a term that superstars like Taylor Swift have taken control of, and that can be a turnoff. However, I want to encourage you to build your own squad and rename it whatever you’d like, but for the purposes of this article, read along as I make my case for the importance of having a girl squad. First, we’ll start with a little Q&A.

What’s a girl squad?

It’s a network of friends, colleagues, and women you admire. Family members who call you out on your fears and help you work through them, co-workers who help you learn in your role and encourage you to push for management or fight for a fair spot at the table, friends who listen and encourage, and aren’t afraid of sharing ice cream when you really need it. Call it what you want: girl squad, posse, friends, role models – whatever allows you to feel like you have the support you deserve.

Who shouldn’t be in your girl squad?

Now, this really depends on your personality. For super bubbly/positive/empathetic people like myself, I pull from other people’s energies, so I choose to surround myself with other optimistic people, with a realist thrown


in here and there for good measure. If you only like honest, blunt people, that’s who you should gravitate towards, but remember to include a few girls who are always there to cheer you on. It’s important to balance encouragement with people who will give you honesty, without trying to hurt you.

What if those girls don’t exist?

I’ve never really had “girlfriends” and I don’t really like hanging out with girls my own age. Then look outside your age group! I promise, the women in your potential amazing networking friendship group DO exist, you just need to look for them. Keep searching till you do, it’s worth it. When you find someone great but you’re not sure that they are the best fit for your network, just store them in your mental rolodex. I’ve met people I liked and respected, but we didn’t connect as friends, but soon enough I’d find someone that I knew would make an awesome connection for them. Matchmaking is one of my favorite activities!

How can I build a girl squad?

This is easily one of my favorite questions. I post often on social media and I blog about my amazing squad. It’s not like you’re having to arrange huge sessions to hang out with twenty people at once – I have many different groups and friends to call for every topic that may arise. How did I meet them all? You’d be amazed at the weird and happy circumstances that have led me to my current group of fierce females who I am proud to call friends. Here are a few tips to meeting new friends and creating your own support system.

MyWRC MAGAZINE • 941-256-9721

There can never be enough kindness. When friends reach out and ask about how I meet my friends, my first piece of advice is to start talking. If you see something you like, say it. Admiring someone’s shoes, purse, earrings or just the way they rock their style is a doorway to a conversation. It may sound silly, but I’ve found some great contacts just by genuinely reaching out and saying hello! In today’s world, women are constantly told that we’re not enough. We’re not skinny enough, pretty enough, cool enough – so when someone tells you that you ARE cool, or pretty, or funny, or smart – that’s one of the best things you can do. It makes others feel good, it makes you feel good, and it can even lead to fun conversations, the exchange of social media handles and boom – friendship born. If you’re not a “millennial” it might sound a little crazy, but this is the evolution of how we make friends, and it’s accessible and fun when done correctly.

Always trust your instincts!

One not-so-great thing about social media is that we aren’t always meeting people face-to-face; it’s amazing because we can connect with women around the world, but you don’t always get that gut reaction that you might have when meeting someone in person. Trust your instincts. If you meet a cool girl but she seems like she tends to pick at people, or be a little mean, I’d stay away. She might just have a different communication style and you’ll know when it’s not right. I’ve met friends that I have absolutely nothing in common with, but in most cases, I love reaching out to them for a totally different perspective. You never know when you’ll need a different set of eyes to help you find a solution.

Be brave!

One of the best things I’ve ever done was to start asking people if they would mentor me. Mentoring has evolved as well – it’s not like I need a babysitter, but it’s so important to look for people in your squad that are smarter, funnier, better. Not to compare yourself to

Say hello and give a genuine compliment!

Not to compare yourself to them, but to use as inspiration.

them, but to use as inspiration. You should never be the smartest person in your friend group, because then you’re not growing. I have always kept in touch with bosses from old jobs, contacts that I’ve met a few times from events or functions – anyone who made me want to push myself harder and be more, that’s who I’d email or call. Those women are busy, sure! But nine times out of ten, they’ll meet you for coffee. Pick their brain, ask them for advice – you never know how they will inspire you, and you might even inspire them! For me, having a girl squad makes me feel strong. It makes me feel like I’m not alone, and that’s one of the biggest assets in my life. I don’t recommend building a squad just to use them for whatever problems or issues arise; you also need to be an asset to them. Be giving, be honest, be loyal, be yourself. As women, we feel like we need to do it all, and for me, I’m realizing that it’s true – but no one said we had to do it all ALONE. One of my favorite things about the Women’s Resource Center is that it has allowed me to strengthen my girl squad. Through my WRC, I have met amazing, inspiring, brave young women and fierce, amazing role models. If you don’t have a girl squad, a posse, a network, I implore you to find one immediately. If you should ever need help, reach out to the amazing staff at WRC and they will connect you with women in our community who will provide guidance, support and hopefully – a lot of laughs. Behind every amazing woman is a strong, fierce squad who has her back.





The adage, “It Takes a Village,” also applies as it relates to mentoring! Often, our first mentors are older siblings or other family members that teach us the ropes. We go to them to discuss our anxieties and they also provide un-solicited advice when they see us veering off the right path. This informal mentoring is critical to building the self-confidence and coping skills that carry us through life. Before we become adults, we add to our “village” of mentors through our connections with teachers, community organizations, clubs, church and family friends. This becomes our “Village” that helps us to navigate through school and decide on next steps. After high school graduation, as we move into adulthood, it becomes more difficult to find that same kind of support. You may be surprised to know that while there are many successful mentoring programs for children, there are very few mentoring opportunities for adults in our region and none that addresses the specific needs of our clients. In 2017, a group of WRC volunteers, in the Sarasota facility, started a mentoring program for employment clients. Within the first year, the WRC Employment Mentoring Program data showed that clients working with mentors increased their potential in finding meaningful and sustainable employment by 67%. We discovered that the use of mentors adds a layer of additional support for our clients as they transition to success. Before being assigned a mentor, clients are assessed to determine which training program, group or individual coaching experience would be most beneficial. Clients are always encouraged to take advantage of WRC wrap-around services. Program recommendations are customized based on client needs assessments and topics include: • • • • • •

Employment Success Tools Personality (Communication) in the Workplace Resume Writing Support Dressing for Success Mock Interviewing Networking & Job Search Techniques 12

After clients are prepared with the required knowledge, skills and tools; they are matched with a mentor. Mentors provide on-going 1:1 employment counseling and assistance during the client’s job search. Mentors build a professional relationship with the client. They listen to the client’s employment story, review her resume, and learn their skills, and interests. Through a series of periodic meetings, they assist the client in goal clarification, action planning, provide job search strategies and encouragement along the path toward goal realization. The success of the Sarasota Employment Mentoring Program was so impactful, that in 2018 we integrated the model into the WRC Manatee Employment Program. In addition, at each of our Centers, we now connect mentors to clients that: • • •

Are prepared to advance their career, while in their current role Need mentoring to avoid career derailment Require mentors to pursue other areas of career development

We are working on the next step in our mentoring program, including providing mentors to every participant in Project UpLift, our 2Gen program. Through the generous support of the Ralph French Foundation and Manatee Matches, we are in the process of designing a multi-layered formal mentoring program. This program will enable us to give ALL our clients the best possible chance of success in their efforts to be financial self-sufficient. Achieving this goal will require assistance from a diverse team of trained mentors - a Village!

Mentoring It can be difficult to see our goals through to the end, and sometimes we need someone to help us. This program is offered to clients who would benefit from additional support and experience from a qualified mentor. Manatee • Sarasota • Venice By appointment only No fee

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Ask the Experts:

Advice & Support from trusted WRC sources

Dear WRC, I am a mother of three who is trying to remain active, and be a good mom and wife, while working full-time... which means I am exhausted and over-stressed. How can I improve my mental well-being and improve my overall happiness? -- Nita

Dear Nita,

Spouses, bosses and children push boundaries in order to meet their own needs and wants. Most women are natural nurturers, and as a result they often create unrealistic expectations for themselves and fail to define healthy boundaries. They set aside their dreams and desires in a way that leaves them feeling unfulfilled. Sound familiar? When we take time to examine our thoughts, beliefs, attitudes, perceptions and actions we can open ourselves up to learning skills that improve our interaction with others close to us as well as the world at large. When we change outdated patterns, we can work toward creating a new foundation on which to manage life ~ regardless of the circumstances. Improving mental well-being and enhancing overall happiness really begins with determination and dedication to managing your time and bringing the people and activities that have personal meaning to you into your life on a regular basis, often through daily or weekly rituals. Here is a suggestion:t take an hour of your time (after the kids are in bed) and outline an entire week from rising to bedtime in half hour increments. Fill in all of your daily obligations (work, family, etc.). Next, consider what has meaning for you and schedule it on the weekly outline. It may be a half-hour before the kids rise to enjoy your coffee on the porch or read. It may be a weekly yoga class or a monthly massage. It may be a date night with your husband or pizza and TV night with your family. It may be all of those things. Post your schedule for all to see and explain the importance of this change of pattern to your family ~ when mom is happy, everybody is happy! Lastly, stay committed ~ even when you don’t feel like it. Remember, our entire life is based upon a series of choices. Daily, we are faced with decisions that make our life better or more challenging. Every day provides us with the opportunity to make better choices and lead happier, healthier lives. If you need a boost to define what has meaning for you, and how to bring more of it into your life, you might try attending a bi-weekly group meeting called, “You are Worthy – Learning to Raise your own Bar” offered at the WRC Venice location. This program is designed to help women gain insight into their own personality, how they handle conflict and become more aware of their own wants and needs. As a result they also develop a framework of tools to aid them in setting boundaries, voicing their position and developing negotiation skills to assist them in achieving the goals they set for themselves. The ultimate goal of the program is to create life-altering and meaningful personal growth for those who want to improve their mental well-being and happiness. Change your patterns, change your life ~ You Are Worthy! We look forward to seeing you at the next group meeting.

~ Chris and Denise

For more You Are Worthy resources, visit MyWRC.org/blog. Special thanks to our program facilitators, Family-Civil Mediator/Arbitrator, Chris Florand, and Industrial/Organizational Psychologist, Denise Whalen.



WRC p ro g rams

RESOURCES AT THE WRC For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call 941-256-9721. You Are Worthy:

Latinas of WRC

Learning to Raise Your Own Bar

A weekly forum for Latina women to discover skills, build self-confidence and find their own paths to success. Mondays @ Manatee 6 - 7:30 pm • Fee: $2 The Smart Split Attorney Rebecca Rider focuses on the Florida legal process for obtaining a divorce and other family law matters. Wednesday, Sep 26 @ Sarasota 10 am - 12:00 pm • Fee $10 *Call 941-366-1700 to pre-register. Ask a Banker:

Start Building Your Financial Know-How

Bank of America (BOA) professionals will be available for 1:1 educational sessions on topics such as credit score, budgeting, debt assistance, loans and much more. Sarasota • Manatee 3rd Thursdays starting July 19 No fee *Call to (941)-256-9721 pre-register. Ask an Attorney Individual 30-minute legal consultation on family law topics such as divorce, child support, child custody and more. At the Manatee Center, a bilingual attorney may assist with immigration matters. Manatee • Sarasota • Venice Call for Appointment Fee: $10 14


Chris Florand and Denise Whalin teach you to develop the skills for improved self-confidence, assertiveness, boundary setting and negotiation skills for handling life’s challenges. Thursdays @ Venice August 16 & 30, September 13 & 27 6-8:00 pm Fee: $2 *Call 941-485-9724 to pre-register. Parenting & Grandparenting: When Google is Not Enough The answers that Google gives us are one size fits all, and that is why they often don’t work. The good news is that there are other amazing techniques that are effective. We will learn “head and heart smart” strategies that will help you remain calm and change the way you parent. The goal is to help create a home that is safer, more peaceful and more fun for everyone. This is a six week group, topics will include: 1) Connecting with our children, while connected with our phones 2) Creating a home that is safe and secure 3) Self Care - an important part of parenting 4) Setting proper boundaries when we are afraid they will never listen 5) Effective morning and bed time routines 6) Q & A Wednesday, Sep 12@ Sarasota 10 am - 12:00 pm • Fee: $2 *Call 941-366-1700 to pre-register. This is a 6 week course, space is limited.

MyWRC MAGAZINE • 941-256-9721

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CHANGE AN OUTFIT, CHANGE A LIFE Tucked away inside historic Jennings Arcade in downtown where Becky and her team will be there to greet you with a Bradenton, you will find the Unique Boutique, an upscale smile. Also, think of WRC when cleaning out your closets. clothing resale boutique. We accept donations at all Centers and Unique Boutique. Both the Bradenton and Sarasota Centers have career closets where our clients “shop” for outfits to wear for interviews or work. All items are free. The community has always been very generous in donating shoes, clothing and accessories to WRC and often times we would have more than our career closets could hold….what a great opportunity.

For more information about UB, please call 941-750-0032 and for donation information, please call 941-256-9721. Our staff and volunteers will be happy to answer questions you might have. Thank you for your support of the Women’s Resource Center and Unique Boutique!

Longtime WRC volunteer and supporter, Jaymie Carter, had an idea of what to do with the generous donations we were receiving, open a resale store that would support the programs at WRC. In late 2005, she and her husband Mike, donated space in Jennings Arcade to launch the boutique. Almost thirteen years later the Unique Boutique, also referred to as the “UB”, has raised more than four hundred fifty thousand dollars to support WRC and our programming. The key to the success of UB is Store Manager Becky Arpaia and her team of volunteers. We have more than 30 fabulous volunteers who work at UB and in our clothing sorting room. We would not be able to run the boutique or the career closets without them. Unique Boutique is located at 417 12th Street West in Bradenton. It is open Tuesday-Friday from 11am to 5pm, and on Saturdays from 10am to 2pm. On the first Thursday of every month, UB hosts a special sale from 10 am to 6pm called “Girls’ Day Out.” All merchandise is 50% off, except the 80% Off Rack and the Poshmark Closet, the Unique Corner. This is a fun girlfriends outing and there are always great bargains!


Unique Boutique also supplies WRC’s Career Closets, open in the Bradenton and Sarasota Centers Monday-Thursday from 9am-5pm and Fridays from 9-11am. This summer, Unique Boutique is participating in “Summer in the Arcade” events taking place in Jennings Arcade from 10am4pm on the third Thursday though September. Summer in the Arcade events highlight local vendors as well as all of the stores in the arcade. Shoppers can enjoy great local deals! If you happen to be visiting downtown Bradenton, stop by UB, MyWRC.org


Jennings Arcade 417 12th Street West | Bradenton


Tuesday - Friday 11 am-5 pm | Saturday 10 am-2 pm Sunday & Monday closed GIRLS DAY OUT FIRST THURSDAY OF EVERY MONTH

941.750.0032 15

CAREER CLOSET - FREE! Career Center and Computer Tutoring Clients are invited to work in our self-help career centers to conduct online job searches, work on job applications and resumes. Learn MS Word, Excel and other computer applications ($10 additional fee for 1:1 sessions). Manatee • Sarasota • Venice Call for Appointment (941)-256-WRC1 (9721) Employment Coaching - FREE! Individual assistance in preparing for a successful job search. Includes resume preparation, interviewing skills and networking techniques. Manatee • Sarasota • Venice Call for Appointment Employability Classes - FREE! Employment 101. Explore career opportunities. Learn basics of online job search and applications, resume building. Mondays @ Sarasota Tuesdays @ Venice

1 - 3:00 pm 11 am - 2:00 pm

Personality in the Workplace. Identify strengths and opportunities through a personality profile. Learn about the different personalities and how to work more effectively with them. Tuesdays @ Sarasota

1 - 3:00 pm

Job Seeker Networking Group. Join us for ongoing jobseeker support, networking in multi-media format and featured guest speakers. Topics vary each week. Wednesdays @ Sarasota 1 - 3:00 pm Employment CPR - FREE! A one-day workshop that encompasses most of our Employability topics in a classroom setting. Geared to help clients gain pertinent skills and information necessary to jumpstart their job search. 2nd Wednesdays @ Sarasota 10 am - 3:00 pm July 11, Aug 8, and Sep 12 16

MyWRC MAGAZINE • 941-256-9721

The Career Closet offers professional women’s clothing, shoes, and purses. Clients are welcome to visit the closet once every six months and select up to five complete outfits, two pairs of shoes, and a purse. The Career Closet is available at both the Manatee and Sarasota locations of the Women’s Resource center. No appointments needed. Walk-ins are welcome!

Sarasota & Manatee only HOURS Mondays - Thursday 9 am - 4 pm Fridays 9 - 11:30 am

“Walking into a job interview can be very intimidating; having the right clothes for my interview made a big difference. Thank you for the Career Closet!” Wendy M.

Latinas of the WRC

Group founder leaves behind a great legacy and sisterhood



arasota and Manatee counties are incredibly diverse, and the Women’s Resource Center believes in supporting women from all walks of life through programs and resources. The Latinas of the WRC (Latinas) was formed to unite Latinas who are passionate about creating a space for the Latinas in our community to connect for education, support and community engagement. This weekly forum was created for Latina women to discover skills, build self confidence and find their own path to success. Meetings include topics such as empowerment, enrichment, conversations from the soul and education. Members are encouraged to share their stories to facilitate openness, growth, and solidarity. The Latinas started with the passion of one woman, Maria Zavala. Maria approached WRC about having a group that would create a space for Latinas to connect and grow. The premise was and remains, how do you respect your culture as you navigate living in a new country and community. At its core the Latinas is about inclusion and building bridges to connect us all. Maria was an activist and an agent for social change, She contributed to many national organizations for women, children and people of color. She held offices in a variety of associations and nonprofit organizations and never stopped giving her time and passion to help others. Maria passed away on April 1, 2018, leaving behind a group of passionate friends and admirers who promised to honor her memory by continuing her great work.

The Latinas is comprised of a group of women who are dedicated to bringing programming and opportunities to latinas in our community. Amalia Flores is the President of the Latinas and along with her fellow board members, has a vision to continue Maria’s legacy, They will continue creating a community invested in a better future for all, based on tolerance and acceptance. According to Amalia, “the future of the Latinas of the WRC looks bright. The group continues to grow and flourish with the creation and planning of events and a new community outreach program.” Amalia has a strong, personal connection to the Latinas. In 2012, Amalia left a domestic and psychologicallyabusive relationship that she had endured for 16 years. After losing everything and not knowing where to turn, her friend Amy directed her to the Latinas of the WRC. Not knowing a single person, Amalia met Maria, and other women, who inspired her journey and started her on a brand-new path. After years of pain and sadness – and loneliness – Amalia found a place to belong. She found a sisterhood to help change her life and the lives of her children. Through women like Maria and members of Latinas, lives can change beyond recognition. Giving women space to be themselves and dream big, and create action plans to achieve those dreams, will continue to strengthen the community and help create a much larger, loving world. Amalia and the Latinas are following Maria’s legacy by continuing to foster a sisterhood that is inclusive, that gives resources, a place to belong, support and friendship; a true sisterhood.




WRC PROGRAMS Guided Meditation

Book Club Enjoy reading? We host monthly Book Club meetings at two of our Centers. A list of books being read at Manatee’s Book Club may be found at MyWRC.org. Fee: $2 1st Thursdays @ Manatee 1-2:00 pm OR 7-8:00 pm July 5, Aug 2, Sep 6 3rd Mondays @ Venice 1-3:00 pm July 16, Aug 20, Sep 17 Interested in starting Book Club in Sarasota? Email Program Director, Chris, at CBraun@MyWRC.org.

Astrology: Journey to Your Well-Being Certified astrological consultant, Diane Eppler Adams, shows you how to use astrology on your journey to physical and emotional well-being. Provide your birth date, place and exact time of birth when you register to receive a copy of your personal chart. Wednesdays, Aug 13 & Sep 12 Venice • 2 - 4:00 pm • Fee: $10 *Call 941-485-9724 to pre-register

No matter your personal situation, meditation can help you feel greater calm and inner peace. Access your “inner voice” or guide, which helps quiet the mind so you can listen to your heart. By listening to our heart, we can experience greater peace and better health. 4th Thursdays @ Manatee July 26, Aug 30, Sep 27 5:30 - 6:30 pm • Fee: $2 Mary Onna Bode 3rd Wednesdays @ Venice July 18, Aug 15, Sep 19 11 am - 1:00 pm • Fee: $2 Mary Conway

Yoga Programs Open to all! Please bring a mat and other yoga instruments.

POWER YOGA Tuesdays @ Manatee 8:15 - 9:30 am • Fee: $5

Y12SR: Yoga 12 Step Recovery A 12-step-based discussion and yoga practice that is open to anyone dealing with their own addictive behavior or affected by the addictive behavior of others. This is an open and inclusive group. All A’s are welcome. Wear comfortable clothing.

GENTLE YOGA Wednesdays @ Manatee 5:30 - 6:30 pm • Fee: $5 INTERMEDIATE YOGA Saturdays @ Manatee 9 am • Fee: $5 ALL LEVELS YOGA Mondays, Tuesdays, Fridays 9 - 10:30 am @ Sarasota Fee: $5


Saturdays @ Manatee 11 am - 12:30 pm Fee: Donation

MyWRC MAGAZINE • 941-256-9721


The Women’s Resource Center awarded 22 scholarships of $1,000 each at a ceremony in Sarasota on May 20. Betty Schoenbaum, longtime supporter of the WRC Scholarship Fund, was in attendance to witness the recipients receive their scholarships. This year’s class represented women who are pursuing degrees in various fields of study—from nursing to psychology. During the presentation, Brenda Parker, WRC board member and scholarship committee chair, shared heartfelt words about her experience as a professional woman—doing everything on her own and thinking she had to be a “Superwoman.” Parker encouraged the WRC Scholars to ask for a little help when they need it. “We believe women are the heart of the family and families are the backbone of our community. When the women of our community are strong and self-sufficient, the impact is far-reaching.” Parker congratulated mother-daughter recipients Nathalie Barr, a Betty Schoenbaum Family Foundation Scholarship recipient, and Natalya Green, a Dr. Elinor Crawford Scholarship recipient, who are each pursuing a degree in nursing. “I love helping people who are in need and that’s what inspired me to goto nursing school,” Barr said. Natasha Logan, a Dr. Elinor Crawford Scholarship recipient, shared her story of overcoming obstacles to achieve her goals to obtain her bachelor’s degree in nursing. “It’s inspiring to know that not only my friends and family, but also my community, supports me in pursuing my dreams,” she said. “Each of these courageous women has demonstrated great drive and adetermination to achieve their highest potential,” says Ashley Brown, president and CEO of the Women’s Resource Center. “We are proud to support their hard work and perseverance. As women improve their education and training, their

earning abilities increase. Through our scholarships and programs, we are creating opportunities for these women and their families. These scholarships make a real difference in our community.” The Women’s Resource Center’s annual scholarship program is made possible through contributions of its members and donors. Since 1997, the Women’s Resource Center Scholarship Fund has awarded $725,000 to WRC Scholars. Applicants must demonstrate a financial need, hold a high school diploma or a GED equivalent, and should be pursuing an undergraduate degree or certification program at a vocational, two-year, or four-year institution. “I admire you all,” said Schoenbaum, who contributed funds for 10 scholarships this year. She gave the recipients her well-known heart-to-heart hug.“You juggle your time with families, jobs and school and some of you are even starting new careers mid-life. This is one of the best days of my year.” The 2018 Women’s Resource Center Scholarship Fund committee included chair Brenda Parker, Ellen Akhavein, Ed.D., Jamie Aymerich, Lillian Elliott, Pauldie Howrigan, Deborah Kostroun, Liz Mercer, Eva Rickert, Madeline Ross, Kaylea Schule, and Pam Truitt.


$22,000 i n scholars hips! 19


1926 Manatee Avenue W. Bradenton, FL 34205 (941) 747-6797


340 S. Tuttle Avenue Sarasota, FL 34237 (941) 366-1700


530 US-41 Bypass S. #5A Venice, FL 34285 (941) 485-9724

Corporate Partners


THE J.JILL COMPASSION FUND BMO Harris Bank | JB Templeton Consulting | Mark Kamin & Associates | Tropicana Air & Energy | Office Professionals | Schroeder-Manatee Ranch, Inc. | Southern Greens Pest Control

Handbags & Happy Hour

Fall Legacy Luncheon

Deja Blues

Thursday, October 18 LWR Golf & Country Club Lakewood Ranch MyWRC.org/Handbags

Friday, November 2 Plantation Golf & CC Venice MyWRC.org/Fall

Friday, November 30 The Brickyard at O’bricks Bradenton MyWRC.org/Blues


Profile for thewomensresourcecenter

MyWRC Magazine | Summer 2018  

MyWRC Magazine | Summer 2018