This Women’s History Month, we need your help to raise $5,000 by March 31st to sponsor 100 enrichment workshops for the women of DWC. Donate $50 to fund one creative workshop and empower women to tell their stories!
As we approach the final weeks of Women’s History Month, we at the Downtown Women’s Center honor our participants and staff who are creating HERstory!
Sarah Espinoza, our Workforce Development Manager, has been a driving force in empowering our participants since she joined our staff three years ago. Currently, Sarah oversees our education and enrichment programs, including our job training and transitional employment program, our product-design creative workshops, and the Learning Center.
Sarah explains that the education and enrichment programs at DWC were created with a holistic view of women's needs and experiences, in order to ensure that “we meet our participants where they are.”
“Creative workshops are healing!” - Sarah E.
Above: Our resident Tan learns to make beautiful prints of downtown Los Angeles in the SET to Design class.
Our participants leave the creative workshops feeling more comfortable with themselves and confident about the skills they are developing. But most importantly, Sarah says, the workshops are healing.
While DWC staff are available to help our participants successfully secure employment through our Job Readiness programming, our creative workshops also support women as they are preparing to look for employment. Sarah shares, “Everyone has their own learning modalities. An enrichment class like our current volunteer-led creative writing class allows a participant to simply express herself at her own pace.”
Creative workshops not only support women who are preparing to reenter the workforce, but they also serve as a therapeutic space after they have been employed.
“In the past," Sarah recounts, "we have had acting workshops which have helped our participants work on and improve their interviewing skills. We recognize that our women come from backgrounds that are often difficult to talk about during interviews; the acting workshops help them build self-confidence. I have seen our participants feel most empowered when they use their creativity to develop their skills!”
"I have seen our participants feel most empowered when they use their creativity...”
Above: Learning Center Peer Leader Shenette H. (left) with Sarah Espinoza
Our Education and Enrichment programs are not just empowering our current participants. Sarah tells us that a former participant who successfully completed our job training program and secured employment—came back to DWC to attend our belly-dancing class! Although this amazing woman is out there making a name for herself, Sarah says, “DWC is here for her as a continual support system—and creative outlet!"
Above: DWC volunteer Shannon Lewallen teaches a belly-dancing class and inspires our participants to take each stride with confidence!
"Creativity allows our women to see the potential in each other and pushes them to be their best!”
“Enrichment programs create high vibrations amongst our women, and we as staff ride on their joy and utilize this positivity to drive them forward!” says Sarah. “If we had more funding for enrichment programs, I know that it would really benefit our participants; creativity allows our women to see the potential in each other and pushes them to be their best!”
This Women’s History Month, join Sarah and the DWC Staff in supporting our wonderful women make HERstory by making a donation to sponsor an enrichment class!