You make it possible for AWEE clients to overcome obstacles and get better jobs, creating better tomorrows for themselves, their families and their communities. Thanks to you, each of these incredible individuals were connected to the resources, help and support they needed to transform their life.

Read their powerful stories below:

With your generosity, for the first time in her life Stacy feels truly secure. She has a good, predictable job, financial security, and a stable home for her children. But things haven’t always been so optimistic for Stacy. As a child she was in the foster system, bouncing from home to home, struggling to remain stable. Eventually Stacy married the love of her life, Scott, and settled down as a stay at home mother with their new daughter, Olivia. She worked part-time from home to help her new family pay the bills, but in fall of 2015, her husband was laid off from his job as an Electrician.

“We were struggling to pay our utilities, our rent, to put food on the table.” Nearing Christmas and still without a reliable job, Stacy heard of a program at Arizona Women’s Education and Employment (AWEE) called BankWork$. “When I heard of the program, I knew I had to enroll.” After 8 weeks of courses, Stacy graduated as one of the top performing students in the class.

Immediately following her graduation, Stacy was strategically recruited by Wells Fargo, a close sponsor of the BankWork$ program. “I’ve been employed with Wells Fargo now for over a year thanks to the BankWork$ training program, and have already gotten a promotion” said Stacy. “You create your own path. Anyone can come into the BankWork$ program and make something of themselves. I sure did.” Thank you for helping Stacy create a better tomorrow for herself and her family.


Christy Kelman

As a working mom of two toddlers, Christy found herself busy, stressed, and without time and structure to invest in her career. While she always put her family first, she also wanted to grow professionally. Thanks to you, she found an opportunity through SheLEADS to gain leadership skills while striving for work-life-balance. She was drawn to AWEE’s mission and the inner strength that SheLEADS gave her. Today, Christy has graduated from SheLEADS and feels more confident in her career. She was able to set high career goals and recently received a promotion at Cox Communications. By connecting with other professional women and exploring her passions, Christy feels like a better mother, wife, and leader in her community.


Julie Gilbert

Julie Gilbert became a teacher, spending four years with second and third graders in a low-income district. Then, it all came crashing down in a matter of minutes. After her first drink, she said, “It took me five minutes to start my struggle with substance abuse.” She decided to take a year off teaching to focus on helping herself. Julie was connected with AWEE mentor Kimberly Russell and, thanks to you, was able to take part in the career counseling services that AWEE offers. Julie stated, “Kimberly empowered me to make my own decisions and was a huge support in assisting with my career goals. Given the opportunity to be set up with a mentor and receive all the career tools from AWEE has truly helped me discover my purpose and made me a more confident, resilient woman.”

Angela Raw

Angela Raw was in an abusive relationship from the age of 14 and had attempted to escape many times. As it so often happens, the abuse began to spill out in front of her children. Right then, she made the decision to get out at all costs. Without you, she wouldn’t have found AWEE and made the change in her life. Today, Angela has completed a series of workforce development workshops, earned a short term certification and completed an internship. She also secured full-time employment with a career pathway and was promoted within a short period of time. You gave Angela the greatest gift: The ability to show her kids how hard she’s working “to give them a better life.”

Sarahi Lozano

Sarahi Lozano stayed at home for more than nine years taking care of her three school-age children, but she knew she wanted to go back to work. As her kids got older, Sarahi wanted to find a job that would provide stability for herself and her family. With only one year of work experience as a server a decade prior, she knew she wanted a new career path. After seeing a flyer for the new AWEE BankWork$® program, she called and signed up for the assessment. Because of you, Sarahi was connected with the skills and training she needed to create her resumé, polish her interview skills, and train her for success. After completing BankWork$,® Sarahi secured full time employment with Bank of America where she wants to continue to grow. You made it possible for Sarahi to receive ongoing support and resources that enabled her to transform her life and find long-term career success, and provide for a better tomorrow for her family.

Janee Jackson

Janee first came to AWEE at the age of 43. A single mother of an 8-year-old son, she wanted help finding a job and avoiding foreclosure. Her car was unreliable and she had few connections, but Janee was determined. Thanks to your generosity, Janee was able to polish her interview skills at AWEE. She landed a great new job in financial services and was honored at our Faces of Success luncheon. But when her father passed away, she had to leave the workforce to be with her family. Last year, Janee returned to AWEE to update her resume and practice her interview skills. Today, thanks to your generosity and Janee’s hard work, she loves her new job with the State of Arizona. You made it possible for Janee to find a position that’s right for her. Now she has a secure job with benefits, her son is succeeding in school, her home is out of foreclosure, and she has the financial security to create better tomorrows for her family.

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John Briones

John Briones needed a new job to support his growing young family. Working at a nearby hotel earning only $8.55/hour, he knew that he needed a better job to provide for his family. Your investment in creating better tomorrows meant that John found BankWork$®through an online job listing and decided to take that first step to a new field. John excelled in BankWork$,® graduated, and now works full time at Bank of America, earning almost double what he earned before and plans to continue his growth in the financial industry. You provided John the opportunity to connect to a better job so he could transform his life and the lives of his family.

Franchesca Gonzales

Franchesca Gonzales was looking for a change in her career, but needed a nudge to push her. She attended the annual Faces of Success Luncheon celebration and loved hearing the stories from past AWEE clients overcoming difficult odds to transform their lives. So, she joined AWEE’s mailing list to keep in touch with the latest AWEE news. When she read about AWEE’s new SheLEADS program, she knew it would be a great opportunity for her. Franchesca was ecstatic when she learned she would join 30 other women looking to grow both personally and professionally in the inaugural class. Motivated by stories of business professionals who took risks in pursuing their next career endeavor, she left her career in the banking industry, moved back to her hometown of Albuquerque and started a nutritional meal planning company. You made it possible for Franchesca to overcome obstacles and create a better tomorrow through her dreams of being a business owner. With a position that’s right for her, Franchesca now wakes up every morning excited to go to work.