Posted by Becky J. Frank, Chairman and CEO, Managing Partner
In preparation for serving as the 2013 campaign chair for the Tulsa Area United Way, I toured its 62 partner agencies including Family & Children’s Services. I learned about their Women in Recovery program which helps transition the lives of women facing prison sentences for non-violent, drug-related offenses.
That’s where I met Nicole who shared her story.
Nicole’s boyfriend injected her with meth on three occasions while she was sleeping. She was abused and found lifeless on the streets.
Nicole’s beautiful blue eyes lit up as she described how WIR had changed her life and built her confidence. She found her “happy place” in the kitchen through their culinary program and plans to have her own restaurant someday. She lifted her college student ID card that hung around her neck while describing how proud she was to be going to college for the first time. She made a 4.0 in her first class.
We visited again last week. When I asked her to describe herself prior to entering the program, she said “untrustworthy, broken – a mess.” And when asked how she views herself now, she said with a smile, “confidant, successful….I love life.”
Nicole made a lasting impression on me. To thank her, I sent roses. The program director texted me a photo of Nicole embracing the roses with a message saying this was her first time to ever receive or have flowers. She said she laughed, cried and felt proud to receive something so beautiful.
Nicole is just one of more than 630,000 people who will receive help from a United Way agency this year. These aren’t just people – they’re our family members, friends and co-workers who are facing a challenge. They need our help and it’s so easy to do by supporting the United Way.
And, someday, we’ll all go and enjoy some tiramisu – her favorite – at Nicole’s restaurant.
Becky J. Frank is the chairman and CEO and managing partner at Schnake Turnbo Frank. Since joining the firm in 2000, she has helped a number of clients reach their business goals. Community relations is one of Becky’s favorite public relations disciplines. She has created and executed wide-sweeping plans for a variety of clients nationally including corporations, universities, nonprofits and faith-based organizations. If you’d like to learn a more about Becky please visit her bio, contact us at our Tulsa office or connect with her on LinkedIn.