Throughout this month we're highlighting the role our team plays in the community. We recently sat down with Rachel Scott, Rockford's Director of Development Services. She is a member of the board for the Women's Resource Center, whose mission is "to improve women's workplace and economic opportunities."
What initially drew you to this organization?
WRC’s mission resonated with me because it ties to my life-long passion of helping people who want to help themselves. Growing up in a single parent household, I witnessed firsthand the challenges my mother faced as a woman of color in the workplace. WRC helps women discover their strengths and talents while overcoming barriers to employment and economic independence – helping to break the cycle of poverty through meaningful employment.
As you’ve become more involved with the organization, how has it gained importance in your life?
Many who are familiar with WRC know they provide participants with up to three complete professional outfits. This support is critical to not only enhance marketability, but to also increase her self confidence. In West Michigan, though, I think it’s important that our community knows WRC is more than clothes.
One of the programs that is important to me is The New Beginnings Pathway. Working with the Kent County Jail, WRC offers responsive mentoring services to women both prerelease and up to 18 months post release to connect them with collaborative community partners for substance abuse and mental health treatment; education/training; housing and basic needs; and other services critical to their successful community reentry.
Based on your experience working with Women’s Resource Center, what are different ways that an everyday person can improve the lives of themselves and their fellow community members?
It’s so important to seek out mentors – those who have been there before you and can help guide you towards your path to success, however you define it. Also, recognizing that mentorship really is a virtuous cycle, we each have something to teach and to learn from others.