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Our Women

Our women--students, mentors and teachers--share how meaningful Better Decisions has been for them.

Sasha, mentor

When we began this partnership I thought it was about me mentoring you, but you have taught me so much. The mutual trust came out our first meeting. I could see your commitment to your goals...You have the makings of a champion.

Amy, student

What was most valuable was having a mentor who saw my strengths and was caring enough to guide me into making better decisions so I can be my best me.

Erin, mentor

The reason I continue volunteering with Better Decisions is that it reminds me over and over that the women we partner with are not very different than you and I. Rather, they are victims of where they grew up, the people they have surrounded themselves with, or just desperate to make enough money to feed their families. They have probably made some bad decisions along the way that have gotten them in trouble. The woman you partner with appreciates that someone cares enough about them discussing and sharing ideas about how to make better decisions in the future.

Diana, student

One of the things I still think about from the class is how the way I communicate with people highly affects the outcome of the situation. If someone is wondering what they will get from Better Decisions, I would tell them you will see how your decisions can change your life and how you can learn how to make good decisions. I am living in my own apartment for the first time in over 20 years. I have my own vehicle and recently got a very good promotion at my job. I can honestly say that the Better Decision class gave me tools that have helped me obtain all of these things. It showed my a better way to approach situations, both with communication and actions. I am very grateful for being fortunate enough to participate in this class.

Lisa, mentor & teacher

Each time I go through the Better Decisions program I learn more about the decision making process -- it's a lifelong skill we all need to practice! Add to that the privilege of witnessing at-risk women learn they don't have to react, but can take control of their lives by making better decisions and this program has given me much more than I have given to it.

Jennifer, student,

speaking to her mentor at graduation

Thank you for this journey we have been on together and for you seeing things in me that I was doubting and just always being there for me when I needed you.

Becca, student

I’ve enjoyed this class. The most important thing that I’ve gotten out of this is think before I speak. I’ve got a problem with doing that. I’ve gotten better at it. You have had a huge impact on me. Thank you for being there for me.

Bershia, student

Meeting with my mentor made me realize that people really do care. We aren’t just forgotten and people don’t just expect us to fail. They want us to succeed and be prepared to be better people.

Carolyn, mentor

Volunteering as a mentor has been one of the most meaningful and fulfilling experiences of my life. Mentoring women who have not had the advantages, support, and love in their lives that I have been lucky enough to have, has opened up a whole new depth of caring in my heart. Helping these women learn how to make better decisions in their lives, and providing them with a dedicated one-to-one learning and support partner to offer guidance as they navigate their very difficult lives, makes a real and lasting difference for them. And unexpectedly, doing this makes a real and lasting difference for me too. The experiences we have together bring me, and hopefully my mentees, great joy and gratitude for having touched each other’s lives.

Anne, mentor

Not only has Better Decisions made a positive difference in the lives of many women endeavoring to improve their choices, it also has had a positive effect in my own life during the 19 years I have been a mentorWhile having the opportunity to encourage the participants, I have been helped in my responsibility as a mentor and in my own everyday choices.

Cindi, mentor

speaking to her student at graduation

When we began this partnership I thought it was about me mentoring you but you have taught me so much in the last couple of months. Mutual trust came at our first meeting. I could see your commitment to your goals. I have watched you absorb and embrace new information even if it has thrown you for a loop. I appreciate your commitment to and appreciation of the lessons of Better Decisions. Your goals are clear.

Portia, mentor

speaking to her student at graduation

When we first met each other it was like we had just picked up a conversation we had already been having which is amazing.  You are incredible, inspirational and I have no doubt about your future. It is very bright just like you and I’m in awe.

June, student

The class was fun and vital to learning who I am and where I need inner growth. The one-to-one sessions are amazing! I've grown very fond of my mentor and that hour with her every week flies by.  I've gained so much from it!

Ginger, student

The class opened my mind to think through different ways of responding to stuff.  I use it a lot now.  The whole experience has been valuable because I learned that everyone has issues and just because we are in prison doesn't mean we aren't important or less than anyone out in the world.

Chelsea, mentor

It has been valuable getting to come alongside women who want to change the path of their life and learn tools to do things differently. It’s valuable and sacred that they jump right in and trust you with their story because they believe you have their best interests at heart and are there to support them on their journey.  It’s also valuable for me to review the lesson plans each week as I benefit from the decision making process as well! We’re all students together in one sense.

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