Women are the epitome of strength, love, sacrifice and courage. They are adorned with patience and perseverance. Women are the primary caretakers of children and elders. They take the lead in helping the family adjust to new realities and challenges.
While the role of women in today’s world has changed significantly over the last few decades, there are many women who struggle to sustain financial independence even though they are employed full-time. These women are working hard in entry level jobs, supporting their families, and falling short of their dreams.
Fortunately, there are organizations in our community who assist and encourage women to stay the course and keep pursuing their goals.
Positive Paths is a local nonprofit whose mission is to support East Valley women in need by providing a life bridge to economic stability, personal growth, and professional achievement. The organization achieves this through mentorship programs, scholarships, and supportive services.
Ellen Tadman is a Positive Path’s mentor who has been working with Sarah for the past year. Sarah’s story is one of heartbreak and grit. She had a rough entry into adulthood. When Sarah was 19, her mother killed herself and she had no father to turn to for help. Her life slipped into a cycle of addiction and abuse. Now in her 30s, she is the primary caregiver for her grandmother after watching her grandfather die in her arms.
Thanks to a scholarship from Positive Paths, and the encouragement of her mentor, Sarah was able to complete her associates degree at Scottsdale Community College. Today, she attends Arizona State University and aspires to be a veterinarian. She loves animals, fosters dogs and cats, and volunteers at an animal shelter.
Positive Paths understands that education is an important key to the success of women like Sarah. Educating women has multi-generational benefits and strengthens the family unit. Fifty percent of the women they help are single mothers, many have experienced poverty, death or illness of family member, and domestic violence.
Ellen is also a member of 100+ Women Who Care Valley of the Sun and shared Sarah’s story with the group in April. As a result of Ellen’s association with these two charitable organizations, Ellen secured a $9,500 donation for Positive Paths. These funds were contributed to the Positive Paths’ scholarship fund and will provide $1,000 scholarships for nine women in need.
In conjunction with mentoring and scholarships, Positive Paths assists women in acquiring a professional image that is appropriate for their career field, including business clothing, resume writing, time management, financial tools, decision-making skills, etc. In short, they amplify the ability for women to obtain and maintain successful employment.
Positive Paths accepts donations of gently used or new clothing, shoes, purses, and jewelry. To learn more about Positive Paths visit PositivePathsAZ.org.
100+ Women Who Care Valley of the Sun is all about sharing a simple concept of coming together as a collective community to make an immediate, direct, and positive impact in giving locally.
Membership in the chapter involves attending four one-hour giving circles a year with the sole purpose of supporting the wonderful work our local nonprofit organizations do by providing funding, exposure, and awareness. The chapter has three sister groups who meet quarterly in Ahwatukee, Scottsdale and the East Valley. To learn more or register for one of their August giving circles, visit 100wwcvalleyofthesun.org or follow them on Facebook. The Ahwatukee group will meet on at 6:30 p.m. Aug. 24 at the Foothills Golf Club. ′