NCJW helps women help themselves

Andrea Spielman
Andrea Spielman

LIVINGSTON, NJ — For Andrea Spielman of West Caldwell, the words of encouragement that she heard from the staff at the Linda & Rudy Slucker NCJW/Essex Center for Women helped her get on the right path after having just left an emotionally abusive relationship.

“I learned to have faith and believe in myself,” Spielman said in a press release. She is one of hundreds of women each year who walk through the doors of the NCJW/Essex Center for Women.

The center, which is celebrating its 35th Anniversary this year, supports women through extensive career service programs, and offers a variety of other opportunities that range from workshops and educational programs to helping women in need.

Spielman came to the Center in October 2013 a broken woman, feeling as if she would never be able to heal or move forward. She had little confidence and low self-esteem, and with three young children at home she found herself struggling with limited financial resources. After becoming a client, Spielman actively participated in 28 of the CFW programs including computer classes, Reaching Into Self-Empowerment workshops, job clubs, vocational boot camps and Fill the Freezer, in which CFW clients receive a week’s worth of meals through the partnership of NCJW/Essex and the West

Orange JCC Social Action Committee. In addition, she attended Education2Empowerment, a program that helps reduce the cost of tuition and related expenses to women so they can pursue non-credit training programs to advance their employment opportunities, and Career Closet, where she was

outfitted with a new wardrobe for work. Her children participated in Rainbows, a support group for children experiencing a loss, where they could be in a safe environment to express their thoughts among their peers.

Beginning with her first RISE Workshop, “Transforming Fears,” Spielman traveled step by step on her road to empowerment. Using her newly acquired skills, she applied for a position that matched her qualifications and was offered a job.

“I know through firsthand experience, the Center for Women helped me become a person again,” Spielman said in the release.

The Center for Women caters to the specific needs of women by providing a wide range of free and low-cost services designed to empower and boost self-esteem when clients need it most. Individualized programs are designed to meet the specific needs of each woman in order for them to reach their goals.

“When you are able to take each seed that you have been handed from every service this center has to offer and cultivate all the wisdom each seed gave with good intentions, those seeds will grow and blossom in ways you never thought possible,” Spielman said. “I have found my voice by using every service the Center for Women has to offer.”

The Center for Women has helped thousands of women with computer skills, job searches and personal guidance. Its team of both staff and volunteers helps guide women to the programs they will benefit from the most. All services are confidential. For more information visit www.centerforwomenNJ.org, call 973-994-4994 or email centerforwomen@ncjwessex.org. Programs are nonsectarian and open to all women.

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