Women’s Economic Stability Initiative Assists Local Woman

Like many hardworking Americans, Jeraldine McMillan found herself in a difficult position late in her career. She had just been laid off from her job due to downsizing, and was now out of work and unsure of what to do.

Jeraldine, also known as “Jeri,” had the drive and determination it took to get back on her feet, but needed something to help her out along the way. Thanks to local publicity, Jeri was able to find a BACK TO WORK 50+: Women’s Economic Stability Initiative (WESI) program in her area.

She decided to enroll in one of their fast track programs for accounting where she was able begin their core services program and enhance her knowledge about QuickBooks.

Jeri completed the program with ease and was on her way to success. She stated, “The BACK TO WORK 50+: WESI program has given me courage, empowerment, and motivation. It refreshed my spirit, and has provided me with the tools that I need to go out and get the right job for my future.”

With this new wave of confidence, she was able to do just that. After completing the program, Jeri attended a Gainesville Area Women’s Networking event equipped with her newfound skillset. At the event, she was able to make several contacts that eventually led to a few job interviews.

Out of these interviews, Jeri was able to find the right position at Santa Fe College where she now works as a financial aid verification assistant in their Financial Aid Department.In 2015, Santa Fe College received a two-year $50,000 grant from the Women’s Giving Circle to help implement the BACK TO WORK 50+: WESI program. At the conclusion of the first year, the original goal of supporting and training 26 women was met. As a result of taking part in the program, these women were earning more than double the 2015 investments in the program. These earnings benefit the individual women, their families and the communities as earnings are put back in the local economy.

For Jeri, the program’s benefits extend beyond just earnings: “The coaching and feedback that this program provided helped me to gain that confidence I was lacking in myself. Thanks, AARP Foundation BACK TO WORK 50+.”

Santa Fe College is a proud sub-grantee of the SIF program under a grant provided from the Corporation for National and Community Service to AARP Foundation.

BACK TO WORK 50+: WESI is a program available to all, without regard to race, color, national origin, disability, sex, age, political affiliation, or religion.