Monday, July 23, 2012

Seeing the World Through New Eyes

By Ewelina Salaga, Summer Fellow

Graduates of the San Francisco ALAS class with their certificates and trainer Sandra Murillo (left)

With a smile and confidence in their faces, thirty two graduates from Simple Steps and ALAS classes from the San Francisco branch of Women’s Initiative entered the ING Direct CafĂ© on July 18th, 2012 to receive their certificates enabling them to start a new chapter in their lives. This certificate confirms their rewarding accomplishment- exciting, fascinating, and challenging at times. These women finished an eleven week program at Women’s Initiative that prepares them to establish their own business, ranging from being a math tutor to a professional health adviser. Not only does the program teach women business plan preparation and break-even point analysis but also, most importantly, confidence, self-esteem, and improved communication skills, so essential in the business world.

Proud grads share their business pitches with confidence

Indeed, remarkable achievement was seen when each of the graduates presented their own commercial of their new business. There were a lot of touching moments that show how vital it is to be comfortable speaking in public. Some women wouldn’t have been able to do it 11 weeks ago but with the Women’s Initiative program, the graduates were able to overcome obstacles. With a different level of confidence and sometimes with a little help in the form of a note, all the graduates proved that they felt comfortable in their skins and at the end they shone on the stage.

Throughout the ceremony valuable advice was given by the speakers. As Adriana Lahl, one of the previous graduates of the Women’s Initiative program currently running her own business said, by working hard, paying bills on time, improving their credit score, the graduates will get what they want to get so success is in their hands. Also, she reminded the graduates to continually invest in clients, training, and consulting. At the end, Nicole Levine, the executive director of Women’s Initiative, summarized the ceremo
ny by highlighting importance of staying connected with Women’s Initiative and being an active member of the SuccessLink Program that connects people and businesses.

After the ceremony all the proud graduates with their families and friends mingled together around a cake and appetizers to talk about their future plans, plans that are exciting and the graduates look forward to realizing. Certainly, with greater confidence, competence, and belief in them, the graduates from now on will perceive the world through new eyes, more bright and colorful.

It's a family affair!

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