Amidst Recession, Some Women Get a Lift | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

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Amidst Recession, Some Women Get a Lift

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The recession has served up misery to millions over the past year, but many Americans have stepped up to serve those in need.

One of those helping is someone who needed help herself. A few years ago, Christel Coleman lost her job. "I found myself scared, not knowing what to do, I applied for welfare," Coleman recalls.

Welfare was enough to feed her and her baby, but not much else. She also didn't want to set an example of dependence for her child, "I wouldn't want my daughter to think that's all there is, I want her to know there's more to do, more to learn."

So Coleman started taking classes at the Center for Employment Training, a nonprofit retraining program for single mothers. She learned how to work in a medical office, while the center helped with child care and gave her financial tips. The skills were critical to making her a marketable job seeker, but equally important "was really just building back my confidence," Coleman said.

Now she is a supervisor at the very program that helped her start her new career.

Gwen Rubinstein is a program officer with the Washington Area Women's Foundation, they fund the training center. "Even in these bad economic times, we're seeing asset gains among these women, they're smaller and slower but they're persisting."

The training program has received national attention for its success.

Sabri Ben-Achour reports....

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