Women in our communities face gender inequalities. In 2018, women in South Dakota earned an average 82.7% of the typical weekly earnings made by their male counterparts, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Women represent half of the US population but more than half the opportunity for growth, according to the US Chamber of Commerce. Empowering women lifts the entire community. When women work, economies grow. Studies by USAID show that if an equal number of women as men participated in the global economy, the global GDP would increase by $12 trillion by 2025. Empowerment comes in all [...]
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So far Megan Van Holland has created 114 blog entries.
Finding childcare can pose a challenge to any parent. Finding childcare that prioritizes children’s learning, health and safety is often much more difficult. Megan Koppen, a working mom, knew she wanted a center with these qualities and more. Koppen began her search for childcare with Google. “We literally did a Google search, and EmBe was the first one that popped up,” Koppen said. Koppen scheduled a tour and was impressed with what she found. “We really loved the security of it,” she said. “I’m kind of a neat freak, so cleanliness was a big thing. You could tell it was [...]
Colleen (left) practicing mock interviews. “I felt so loved and special, they cared about me and my success” Feeling beaten down emotionally and mentally, Colleen Keiser was looking to boost her self-confidence and to sharpen her professional skills for an upcoming job interview. “I wanted to gain my self-confidence back and understand what I wanted to do with the rest of my working life,” Keiser said. In 2019, Keiser joined Women to the Workforce, an EmBe program designed to help prepare participants to obtain employment or advancement in their current jobs. “I felt like each session was specifically [...]
When Amber Metzger came to Dress for Success Sioux Falls, her self-esteem was at an all-time low. “I was used to having everything put together and being good at moving towards success, but life got the better of me and destroyed my spirit,” Metzger said. Dress for Success Sioux Falls staff scheduled an employment suiting for Metzger and prepared her for a job interview. Metzger successfully landed the job. After securing employment, Metzger joined the Tapestry, a networking program for employed women to build skills and gain support throughout a year of employment. Metzger developed close relationships with the women [...]
Carol Spaders's connection to EmBe began in childhood, when she was attending swimming lessons every Saturday at the YWCA (now EmBe). "Finances were tight,” Carol said, recalling her father’s diagnosis with a neurological disorder and ultimately, his death in her teenage years. “I think my mother looked for free or inexpensive experiences in the community. Hoping that she might instill a vision in her girls to go further than she could." Carol continued. Early in Carol’s career in community development, she was invited to serve on the YWCA Board. During her time on the board, Carol learned the importance of [...]
Kaaren Randel is passionate about paying empowerment forward. Decades ago, after a divorce and facing homelessness, Kaaren found encouragement with an organization who provided her with the tools she needed to find success. “They helped me put together a resume, coached me on interviewing, provided me with professional clothing for interviewing, and gave me the support and encouragement I needed to get my family's life together,” she recalled. “Having other women in the same situation helped me realize that I was not alone and there was light at the end of the struggle.” Kaaren says that has motivated her to [...]
“I hate myself.” Cassidy Wassenaar, a Girls on the Run coach, found this message on one girl’s lap goal card after a long practice. Concerned, Wassenaar asked her about the message. The little girl explained that it had been a rough day — it was her first time in timeout since kindergarten. Wassenaar spied the perfect teaching moment. “Hating ourselves is like having a cloud over our head,” she explained. “What can we do instead?” The girl replied, “Activate our star power!” Wassenaar helped the girl to find five ways to activate her star power. Star power, a Girls on [...]
Shelby Hartung noticed a difference in EmBe’s childcare from the moment she met the downtown location staff. “Everybody felt like friends. That was the biggest experience we had on our tour.” Hartung discovered EmBe shortly after moving from Bismarck, North Dakota. She began her search for childcare with Google, and EmBe’s name appeared at the top of the list. After scanning EmBe’s web page, Hartung called to set up a tour. On her tour, she met Desiree Wolfe, EmBe’s Downtown Childcare Site Manager. Wolfe led her through the facility, showing Hartung the spaces for learning and play. Hartung felt an [...]
Fast Five: Work From Home Burnout Working from home sounds great in theory. No morning commute? Comfortable clothes? Sign me up. Like many theories, working from home is often not nearly as fun in practice. Endless Zoom meetings and online networking can leave the best of us feeling exhausted and overworked. What is burnout? Burnout is stressed caused by one’s occupation. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), symptoms of burnout may include: feelings of energy depletion while working, reduced efficacy or increased mental distance from your job. Wellbeing in the workplace has become more important, but what happens when [...]
Setting Women Up for Success: Jeannie Blackman Jeannie Blackman had been attending EmBe’s In Her Shoes Breakfast for several years. Fueled by the powerful conversations around her, Blackman felt compelled to get involved. “I was inspired after going to the In Her Shoes Breakfast to give them a call and sign up to do career coaching,” Blackman said. Blackman, a longtime supporter of EmBe’s programs, had previously served as a coach for Girls on the Run. After a new opening in her schedule, she found her next volunteer opportunity through Dress for Success Sioux Falls. Blackman has now been career [...]