Bryan County Family Connection (BCFC) and United Way Bryan County have joined forces to create a new program that will teach life skills and more to young women across the county.
The idea for the program, known as “Ready, Set, Grow,” began when United Way Bryan County Director Janice Blunt noticed women browsing through the Clothes Line, the United Way’s low-cost clothing store, during the middle of the day.
Blunt said she became curious and began talking to them and found out many weren’t working.
“There just seems to be a population of women out there that don’t have a GED and don’t have job experience and don’t have really anything except a hope of changing that,” she said.
So she began brainstorming with BCFC Director Wendy Sims, and they came up with the idea for the program in hopes of changing the future for these women in Bryan County. Quoting the comedian Chris Rock, Blunt said, “‘being rich is not about having a lot of money. Being rich is about having a lot of choices.’”
“That’s what we want to do with this program is to provide the women of Bryan County with an opportunity to have choices,” she said.
Through the 16-week program, United Way and BCFC plan to offer two classes per week that teach life skills and GED preparation for women. Although they can provide the training and education, Blunt said they cannot administer the GED.
However, she said the organizations can help women find a place to take the test once their course is complete.
Sims said the life-skills courses will offer things participants might not have much experience with, like basic computer skills, financial skills, resume writing and dressing for success.
“It’s information that some of us take for granted, but it’s important for those who have not been exposed to it,” Blunt added.
Blunt said Bryan County 4-H coordinator Shanna Davis will be teaching the GED preparation, adding that they are always looking for women leaders in the community to become mentors, coaches and cheerleaders for the program participants.
“It doesn’t have to be somebody who’s been successful with a lot of money or with a powerful career,” Blunt said. “Maybe it’s somebody who has a successful family life, someone who has made some good choices.”
The orientation for “Ready, Set, Grow” is at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Dixie Harn Community Center in Pembroke. After that, classes will be every Tuesday and Thursday for the next 16 weeks beginning July 26. The orientation will begin with a placement test to see what levels program participants are on.
Read more in the July 16 edition of the News.