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Empowering Survivors: Celebrating Success at the

2024 Admin & Career Exploration Program Graduation 

In a world often marked by adversity, stories of resilience shine brightest. In February at the Urban Resource Institute (URI) Economic Empowerment Center in Midtown, Manhattan, a beacon of hope illuminated the path of triumph for 16 remarkable women. These women – survivors of domestic violence and homelessness, and residents at URI shelters – stood tall as they graduated from the Economic Empowerment Admin & Career Exploration Program. 

The URI’s Admin & Career Exploration Program isn’t just about finding a job; it’s about igniting a spark of possibility in lives impacted by trauma. For eight weeks, these survivors embarked on a journey of self-discovery and learning, culminating in an 8-week paid internship with esteemed organizations. From Goodwill to Restaurant Opportunities Centers United, they delved into various roles, honing their skills and reclaiming their sense of agency. 

Amnah Bashier, the Program Manager of Career Services at the Economic Empowerment Program (EEP), emphasized the program’s aim to empower survivors to secure employment and envision a future filled with possibilities. Through tailored workshops and counseling, URI equips survivors with the tools to navigate the complexities of the job market and build sustainable careers.

“Our participants have shown resilience not only in overcoming personal challenges that they have encountered, but also in committing to increasing their career readiness skills through this program so they may continue to lay a foundation for their economic mobility. We recognize and acknowledge their success and are overjoyed to be a part of it,” said Bashier.

The graduation ceremony was filled with the impactful and resonant keynote speech delivered by Angela Thompson, URI’s Vice President of the Homeless Families Program. She reminded the graduates of their inherent strength, urging them to defy the odds and embrace the power within. Drawing inspiration from the indomitable spirit of Michelle Obama, Thompson emphasized that true victory lies in overcoming fear and doubt.

“What each of you represent today is what odds mean when you defy them. It is what has brought you to this place today. Of accomplishments, of being reminded that anything that you set your heart and your mind to – can be accomplished and overcome,” said Thompson.

Each graduate’s journey is a testament to the transformative impact of the Economic Empowerment Program. By addressing the root causes of economic abuse, URI not only breaks the cycle of violence but paves the way for a future of hope and resilience. 

Success stories speak volumes: survivors doubling, even tripling their income, breaking free from the shackles of poverty and abuse. Yet, the demand for URI’s life-changing program far exceeds its current capacity. As we celebrate the achievements of these remarkable women, let us also heed the call to action.  

We extend heartfelt gratitude to donor Jill Fitzburgh for her generous contribution of necklaces for each graduate. We invite companies, organizations, and individuals to join us in supporting the Economic Empowerment Program. Together, we can broaden its impact, extending a lifeline to those in need and nurturing a community of empowerment and solidarity.

Reach out to infoeep@urinyc.org to learn more about how you can make a difference. 

Congratulations to the class of 2024 – may your journey inspire others to believe in the transformative power of resilience and hope.