I volunteered with CEO Women last summer, and I had a great experience. Through the interviews I could see the positive impact that this organization has on the lives of its clients. The women, that I interviewed, explained to me that going through the program not only helped them build their confidence, but also it made them realized what were their strengths.
I started volunteering after my sister asked if I could do some general office work during my free time. I was amazed at the friendly attitudes of all the employees there. Even though I was just volunteering, they were very supportive and always provided a smiling answer to my questions about the work I was doing. As an indication of their tech-savvy program, I also helped them implement their text message update program, which helps clients stay informed. Several times I got to meet clients stopping by the office for various reasons, and I never met one that wasn't thoroughly impressed with the services they were receiving. Overall a great place to volunteer, and they are providing an invaluable service to the community!
I have been connected with C.E.O. Women from the first day I came to the Bay Area, going on five years ago. I volunteered through AmeriCorpsVISTA for two years with C.E.O. Women. The typical service length is one year, but I felt so connected and knew what an amazing mission this organization has, that I extended my service to two years. And for the past two and a half years I have been volunteering in other ways, such as advising on event planning. I came into the organization when it only had 4 full time employees (two of which were AmeriCorpsVISTA) and it is now an organization of 10 (maybe more - they keep expanding their services which means more people!). This organization impacts the lives of so many women through their business entrepreneurship training program. I witnessed first hand the connections that refugee and immigrant women made with their classmates, instructors, volunteer coaches, business owners from the community and the list goes on. It's a very powerful thing to witness a women enter a program from a place of "I can't" and graduate with an attitude of "I can and will". I would highly recommend getting involved in this organization, whether it's volunteering or donating, to help them expand their reach impact on the community.
I worked with CEO Women for about 6 months in 2007 and they are a really wonderful group. They really inspire confidence in their clients. One woman told me that her husband and children now see her differently too: as a stronger, more accomplished person. I love the staff here, the close connection they have to their clients and the community, and the creative ways they find to address education for women with limited time and resources.
As someone whose own mother immigrated to the US and opened a business still operating successfully 30 years later, I was honored to teach a class for C.E.O. Women. Their staff members together make an intelligent, organized, and dedicated team that is passionate about empowering women. Recognizing the pivotal role women play in immigrant communities, C.E.O. Women is working hard to create a model of change that, as the organization grows and matures, can have an enormous impact on the economic, cultural and psychological health of immigrant women and their families. They are young, still, as an organization, and like all nonprofits now, must adapt to the changing landscape. However, of the many nonprofits I've worked with, from one-time volunteer to long-term board member, C.E.O. Women has been the most responsive and supportive in helping me contribute in a way appropriate to my skills.
I love volunteering with this group because the women who participate come from such diverse backgrounds and I learn so much about so many different cultures. As a volunteer in the initial sessions, it's pretty neat to see the instructors work their magic and make all the women feel comfortable in an uncomfortable setting. They do a wonderful job of promoting classroom interaction, having open discussions about common issues that each of the women face. It's amazing how much warmer the room feels after that initial day and the women show a willingness to interact more.
CEO Women is such a great bunch of people to work with. I was an intern for them and my main job was working with the database. Back then, I was really interested in learning about the structure of nonprofit agencies and they were definitely open to answering any questions I had. My supervisor was even able to refer me to another mentor I could converse with to learn more about nonprofits and specifically what she did in her career. I was even able to talk to her over some coffee! I overall liked that the staff was pretty small, close-knit, and very friendly. There was such a strong bond between the staff and the women participants, and you could see the amount of care that the CEOWomen staff had for each individual who came into the office. I love how the organization is filled with such a diversity of different businesses and ethnicities. Although I was only there for a summer, I still felt like I was part of a team and family that was really making a difference in the lives of these women.
It was great getting to help out CEO Women as they prepared for their annual fundraising event. The work that they do is phenomenal because by educating a woman and providing her with a concrete way to support herself, she in turn supports her family and her community. The training that CEO Women provides is really unique because it leverages technology and gives immigrant and refugee women access to capital that they would not have access to otherwise.
I have worked with CEO Women for over a year and my experience has enriched my life in profound ways. I got the opportunity to volunteer in their program and assisted one of their client from business planning to launch of their childcare service in El Cerrito in 2009. It was amazing to be a part of the transformation of client who had a dream of providing high quality childcare to realizing her dream and becoming self-sustaining herself. I highly recommend CEO Women as a great place to give back to the community but also to experience personal development as a volunteer. I continue working them because I believe in their mission because they achieve real positive results for the community. Keep it up CEO Women you are making a valuable difference in people's lives.