“There isn’t any part of me you’ve not touched on.”
At the urging of her mother, Denise sought help from Women’s Resource Center in 1979 as part of the Displaced Homemaker program. Denise was a single mom of 4, with no job and no financial support. She says, “(WRC) put me on a path to succeed, to move forward. It put me in a place where I thought I had hope again.”
Denise began working with the City of Grand Rapids through a Community Block Grant and started on earning an Associate’s Degree from Grand Rapids Community College. Women’s Resource Center helped her with tuition costs. She soon earned her Level 1 and Level 2 Assessors certifications; which suited her well. Denise had deep roots in the building industry; her Grandfather was a successful builder/contractor. She recalls an important lesson she learned from him; “When you build this it is here to stand as your signature.” She says his legacy and influence helped her have a successful career as a building inspector.
Denise took an early retirement in 2000 to help care for her aging mother. She also worked part time in a basement waterproofing business. Following her mother’s passing, Denise returned to WRC to seek help in finding full time employment again. She said WRC was once again a source of encouragement, “… and never made me feel bad about coming back.”
WRC was once again a source of encouragement, “… and never made me feel bad about coming back.”
After working several years as a concierge in a senior residential living facility, Denise became restless and wanted to pursue other avenues. She once again turned to WRC for help in finding her next step. Denise began to meet with her Volunteer Mentor Jan. She recalls how Jan urged her to think about a dream job. This has led Denise to start her own consulting business which seeks to help seniors remain safely in their homes.
Reflecting on her experiences with WRC, Denise says “There isn’t any part (of me) that you’ve not touched on.” She says, “It’s a comfortable place, there’s no judgement.”