Supporter Spotlight: Soroptimist International of Oceanside-Carlsbad Gives $10,000 towards WRC’s “Education is Power” Program
We are excited to recognize and celebrate our partnership with Soroptimist International of Oceanside-Carlsbad for our “Education is Power” program supporting the women and children in WRC’s residential services. On June 14, 2019, WRC Soroptimist International of Oceanside-Carlsbad presented WRC $10,000 towards this campaign that seeks to empower WRC clients to achieve knowledge, self-confidence, and career-building skills by pursuing higher education. “Education is Power” will provide technological resources for clients in WRC’s transitional housing including laptops and in-home Wi-Fi.
“Your mission and our mission go together — there’s no question about it,” WRC CEO Marina Araiza said at the event, “because you, Soropitimists of Oceanside and Carlsbad, and us, Women’s Resource Center, we both strive to revive and encourage women to achieve the social and economic empowerment that is so critical for them. We thank you for your help.”
WRC transitional housing client, Shoshanna*, spoke at the luncheon about her experience as a survivor of domestic violence and how this program will help her and other clients’ educational goals. When Shoshanna* fled her abuser, the father of her children and her husband, by coming into WRC’s emergency shelter program she was in the middle of her second semester of community college. By the time she started a new semester, Shoshanna* had moved into WRC’s transitional housing program with her children and was struggling to coordinate both her kids’ and her own schooling. “I had a very strict schedule because my kids go to several different schools. I often wouldn’t have much time to stay at school and study,” she remarked at the luncheon. “As I entered my last semester of community college, I found myself doing homework in three different places: my college’s library, the city of Oceanside’s library, and another college’s computer lab,” Shoshanna said, “I know that if WRC had Wi-Fi for free for the residents, those who are in school now would find that studying is easier and that they’d be able to do it at any time. Those who are applying to jobs can fill out their applications online without being bothered by the public, too.”
At WRC, we believe that education is an essential tool to empower survivors of domestic abuse to regain confidence and achieve economic stability and success. In today’s digital era that has been largely defined by technological advancements, access to technology is essential to anyone’s educational and economic success. WRC supports and encourages the educational goals of our clients by working one-on-one with them to develop educational and career plans to make specific and achievable goals that will help them achieve stability and success. Each client’s case manager meets with them weekly to ensure that they are on-track to their goals and have the resources and support they need to reach them. However, WRC’s lack of Wi-Fi and technology available for clients has proven to be an obstacle. Many of WRC’s clients come to shelter with little more than the clothes on their backs and their children in tow. A 2012 study published by Rutgers University’s Center for Violence Against Women reports that between 94-99% of domestic violence survivors experience financial and economic abuse (Postmus et al., 2012) that makes it difficult for them to rebuild their lives after leaving. For many, budgeting a laptop and a Wi-Fi bill, on top of everything else, is not possible.
However, thanks to Soroptimist International of Oceanside-Carlsbad, WRC is making strides towards being able to provide access and resources to the survivors we support so that they have the tools they need to achieve their goals and ensure a better future for their families. “My life these past two years hasn’t been easy,” Shoshanna* said, “but I have been successful because of the opportunities that WRC has given me. I have been told that your group has given WRC ten thousand dollars towards getting technology and Wi-Fi for us; we are all very grateful. Thank you.”
Our thanks Soroptimist International of Oceanside-Carlsbad cannot be enumerated enough. In addition to this grant towards “Education is Power”, Soroptimists across Oceanside, Carlsbad, and Vista have also provided scholarships to five of the women in our transitional housing program through their “Live Your Dream Award” program. It is thanks to Soroptimists and other community partners that WRC is able to empower survivors every day to achieve their goals and create a better future for themselves and their children away from violence.
To learn more about Soroptimist International of Oceanside-Carlsbad, check out their website at www.sioceansidecarlsbad.com.
*Client’s name has been changed to protect her identity. Client has given consent for her picture to be used.