By Kayla Wolff
Growth Strategies Manager: Foundations/Grants/Donors /
Shared Hope International
Share Hope International’s domestic W.I.N. (Women’s Investment Network) program empowers women who have experienced difficult or traumatic circumstances through professional development and training. For 20-25 hours every week during the nine-month, three-phase program, these women learn basic office procedures and are equipped with skills to problem-solve in the workplace, as well as in their personal lives. WIN women perform tasks in several different departments – from accounting to growth strategies – until they find an area they would like to expand their expertise in. After having the chance to contribute to meaningful projects in the Shared Hope office, each woman receives assistance in crafting a resume and exploring future career opportunities. The program provides a stipend, expanding the experience so each woman is able to get paid while learning.
While most women who go through the program transition to similar work with other companies, a few have become full-time staff at Shared Hope. Beth, who has worked in Shared Hope’s accounting department for several years and has a knack for details, started her professional success with the program.
Beth first heard about the WIN program in 2013 while she was a resident at The Samaritan House, a local women’s recovery home. “A fellow resident was serving a WIN internship at the time I entered the home and she told me about the program and encouraged me to apply,” she notes. “I had never worked for a nonprofit before and had been unemployed and, quite frankly, unemployable for ten years.”
Beth was encouraged to receive the offer despite the gaps in employment on her resume. “I have seen God’s hand in this ministry – many times I have felt HIS presence, and never before have I had a job where I have felt that what I do really matters,” she said.
During the program, Beth interned with the accounting department two days per week and learned a lot about herself in the process. “I learned that it’s never too late to turn your life around and that I always had it in me to be the person God created me to be,” Beth stated, “I just needed someone else to believe in me and give me a chance.” Though she had held several years of office experience prior to coming into the program, ten years out of the work force had left her feeling ill-equipped to handle the changes in office automation and technology.
During her time in the WIN program, Beth saw her ambitions come back to life. “I had no goals when I first got here,” she reflected. “That is the honest truth! I figured it would be a miracle if I made it all the way through the program, let alone get hired on as staff; but God is good!”
When asked what she would like others considering the program to know, she stated, “Even if you don’t believe in yourself and everything is a mess, the WIN program offers a way to rebuild your life.” She is grateful for the opportunity to share her story, and Shared Hope is grateful to have her.
HOW TO APPLY
Applications are accepted on a continual basis and are assessed as the next opening becomes available. Friends, family, churches, and non-government groups refer most interns to the program.
Applicants must submit an application, volunteer for 4 hours and write a letter to assess basic literacy.
For more information and applications details, please contact Maria Campoli or call 360-693-8100.
We invite you, our global community, to support our local efforts by giving to Shared Hope International as a part of Give More 24! on September 22.