BY GINA N. FICO
Acting News Editor
Women have benefited from the County College of Morris’ Women’s Center for over 25 years. Many women over the years gained self-esteem through counseling and courses for both their career and personal life.
Empowerment! is a 12-week, selective course that teaches women to “combat internal barriers, employability skills and experimental methods.” Attendance is mandatory and homework is given to the women.
“There is always something going on in a woman’s life that causes them to think, ‘What’s next?’” said Melissa Elias, Executive Director of the women’s center.
Elias said the program was created to make women go forward in their lives. In one of the activities, a human figure was drawn. She explained, inside the body was what others want and outside was what the women can do for themselves.
“It’s really designed to help women reflect and make the changes they want to make,” said Joanne Rohach, creator and facilitator of Empowerment.
Elias and Rohach “brainstormed” the idea for the course in June of 2013. Rohach has a long history of motivating women to reach their full potential. Empowerment! ran for the first time in January of 2014.
“Back in 2011, I started providing workshops at the women’s center on a pro bono basis,” said Rohach.
Elias said in combination of Rohach’s experience and peer support in the group, the program is a great resource for women. It also attracts a diverse group of women each time it ran through its dynamic program.
“It’s a wonderful and beautiful thing,” said Elias.
Michele Coneys, job placement counselor at the Women’s Center said she has seen a lot of positives from Empowerment!
One of Coneys’ duties is to provide women with job postings. She said she finds speakers and facilitates meetings for the center.
“Empowerment! Helps women find jobs, and helps them find the confidence to find jobs,” Coney said. “It helps women feel better about themselves and opens up opportunities to them.”