something inside of her clicked. She realized that she was embarking on a new lifestyle after reaching a low in her physical health. “Lifestyle changes for me weren’t easy, and occasionally I have moments of weakness,” she says. “Slowly but surely, I am learning how to make my new lifestyle change a permanent one.” “I learned to be more positive and to give more to others in need. I learned that when you give, you receive.” She continues, “The most difficult part of my journey has been not being able to work fulltime. Sometimes I feel as though it’s taken away my desire to live, to a degree. I had just turned 55 and was considered disabled. I no longer have cancer, but I do have other health issues. But you know what? It means a lot to me every day just to wake up.” EnVisioning the Future Beverly’s future goals are to start a home-based business in billing and coding, and to establish a resource center to assist the elderly to get their medications. Beverly admits that she is still shy - but is using the skills she’s learned through Dress for Success Columbus programs to help break the ice so she can advocate for the program. She often finds herself going out of her way to introduce herself to other disadvantaged women in hopes of sharing her story and how she was empowered. She tells them that each Dress for Success does more than give clients clothes. While there, women also receive tools to envision their success and accomplish their goals. Beverly can truly tell others that we all fall, but we can get back up and she says the sponsors, donors and volunteers at Dress for Success Columbus have provided the motivation for her to realize that she can make it. “God put this organization and these sisters in my life and now I feel loved. Although my struggle is not your struggle, we are equal as women. A baby needs hugs to be successful - at Dress for Success Columbus you will be successful because you are hugged.” - McQuetta Williams far left: Beverly shows off the outfit she and her personal shopper selected from the Dress for Success Columbus boutique. She wore it to a first interview for her job. left: getting in the door Dress for Success Columbus collaborates with more than 60 local social service agencies and programs to bring women into the network. After an agency refers a woman, she can make an appointment to visit the boutique where she and a personal shopper will work together to find the perfect interview outfit. A woman must receive a referral from a partnering agency, but once she joins the Dress for Success family, she is free to stop by the boutique any time to use the career center and to take advantage of the many programs offered to clients. The career center is open during business hours and provides women a place to search and apply for jobs and polish resumes. Every Friday, the Dress for Success Columbus hosts Rouge & Resumes in the center. Those who sign up for the weekly program meet one-on-one with human resources professionals to discuss cover letters, resumes and interview tips and they also get glammed up by a local stylist who shares pointers on work-friendly make-up application. SUCCESS LIVES HERE | 12

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