Women of Whitney seeks to instill kindness
Tags: Job Corps | Social Development | student life | whitney m young job corps | women

Women of Whitney seeks to instill kindness

Confidence and kindness: the two strongest values that the Women of Whitney group wants to instill in its students.

Women of Whitney is a club that gives Whitney M. Young Job Corps Center’s young women the opportunity to learn and grow with the help of both their peers and staff.

“The vision is to create opportunities for the young women of Whitney M. Young Job Corps,” said staff leader Mitzi DeBeer. “We gather for the purpose of developing essential skills, overcoming adversity, building self-esteem, instilling a sense of empowerment in a safe and welcoming environment.”

In the past, Women of Whitney has met to celebrate Derby by creating personalized fascinators, gone shopping in La Grange to ensure that they have interview clothes, and in the future, the group is working to increase the students’ volunteer footprint now that COVID restrictions are being relaxed.

“We’re going to be doing a lot of acts of kindness,” DeBeer said. “Now that some restrictions have been lifted, we’re working on giving back to the community.”

That could look like a lot of things, DeBeer notes, including volunteer work or reading to elementary school students.

“Coming out of the pandemic, I believe that a lot of the students need to exemplify kindness to other individuals,” DeBeer said. “In order to receive it, it’s important to give back as well.”

It starts small, with students simply doing things on-campus – things such as helping new students learn the ropes. But even that gives them an opportunity to help out and creates a snowball effect where students’ compassion can inspire other students.

And, of course, it doesn’t help that these actions help them connect with young women entering the program and helping them build self-esteem as well, something DeBeer said is a big part of what the group seeks to do.

“Having them all come together is allowing them to share their voice and to stand up and be heard,” DeBeer said.

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