Heather was in an abusive marriage for 4 years. She has three children ages, 2,3, and 10 with special needs. With the help and support of her family, Heather was able to leave her abusive relationship and started therapy to heal from her trauma. Through her brother, who is a lawyer, she was able to find about The Women’s Network and started her journey in July of 2019. Heather was once lost and found her voice again through thriving at the Network. After receiving the Carina P. Michel Memorial Education fund to get her GED, she was able to get her resume updated with the help of WIN and worked with Human Relations mentors to enhance her employability. An attorney’s office contacted WIN looking for an office administrator and The Women’s Network knew she was ready and had the skills they were looking for. After many mock interviews, Heather aced her interview and got the job.
Elizabeth married a young man she met in college and became the mother of two girls. Through financial and personal stresses, the relationship turned abusive and controlling. Although she had few financial resources, Elizabeth left with her daughters to escape the physical and emotional abuse. At the recommendation of family, she turned to the Network to help rebuild her self-confidence and heal emotionally. At The Network she was encouraged to set and accomplish goals; one of her goals included becoming a certified nursing assistant. Through the paid study time the program the Women’s Network offers, Elizabeth was able to get the help she needed with her studies and soon passed the state CNA licensing exam. After graduating from the Network program, she works full-time at Wichita’s Catholic Care Center with great pay, benefits and opportunities for advancement. Her future is bright as she is living independently with her daughters in a safe and stable home.
After graduating in China with a master’s degree in Accounting, Jenny Lu was about to finish her American bachelor’s degree in Accounting at Wichita State University. Her husband soon became jealous and angry with Jenny Lu’s success. She made the decision to leave him and continue her journey, despite his angry threats. Any time her husband had visitation rights, a police officer had to be present to mediate as he was often abusive and threatening. Jenny Lu found stable housing at Harbor House and was referred to the Network to regain her confidence and continue to succeed. Being in the program, Jenny Lu made connections through the Network’s staff and was able to secure a job with a small business as their part-time bookkeeper that was flexible with her class schedule. Jenny Lu worked there for a year while finishing her degree then moved on to a full-time position at Koch Industries, working in their accounting department. The Women’s Network not only built Jenny Lu’s confidence back up but was able to help her through legal and financial challenges to assist her back on track to a successful life.