Twenty-two years ago, Becky was 17-years-old and a new mother. She had recently lost her own mother and was estranged from her father. With no place to stay and no parental guidance or financial support she found safety and encouragement at the YWCA in Jamestown. She enrolled in the Teenage Education and Motherhood (TEAM) program which provides education, counseling, childcare, and support services to pregnant teens and teen mothers while helping them to complete high school. Then Becky moved to Transitions which provides safe and affordable housing to women and children who are homeless or at risk of being homeless, as well as guidance towards developing the skills necessary to live healthy and independently.
“Without the programs at the YWCA, I would not have a high school education, would not have gone to college, and would not be the mom I am today. They taught me a lot, including how to be a mom. My children benefited from my experience at TEAM,” explains Becky.
Boosted by the YWCA programs, Becky was able to finish school and became a certified nursing assistant. Using many of the skills she learned at the Y, she raised three children while staying involved with their extracurricular activities, spent almost twenty years in nursing, and invested in real estate including buying her own home.
A few years ago, Becky decided to change her career path. She went back to school to acquire more administrative skills, and when an office assistant position opened up at the YWCA, she applied.
“My first job offer came from the YWCA,” she said. “And, I knew immediately it was where I was meant to be.”
Becky sees her work at the YWCA as giving back. She feels passionate about the YWCA’s mission of eliminating racism and empowering women and the work the organization does in the community. While she also volunteers for organizations like the Salvation Army and the Chautauqua Center, she adds, “I feel blessed to be able to be a part of this!”