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Melissa Tenzer

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Dress for Success Mercer County Celebrates Graduates of Latina Empowerment Initiative Program

Critically important bilingual career development and educational training available to Mercer County Latina Women

Lawrenceville, NJ, August 04, 2016 --( Earlier this summer, a graduation ceremony was held for eleven women who successfully completed Dress for Success Mercer County’s (DFSMC) Latina Mobile Literacy Program, which is part of the organization’s Latina Empowerment Initiative. Held in conjunction with LALDEF (Latin American Legal Defense & Education Fund), these women have gained the skills and confidence needed to improve their lives and secure financial stability for themselves and their families.

“We are so proud of these women and are privileged to partner with organizations like LALDEF where we can bring our programs directly to the communities where they are needed most,” said Melissa Tenzer, Executive Director of DFSMC. “The impact of our Latina Empowerment Initiative is truly life-changing. The women who complete the program graduate with critically important bilingual career development and educational training that will help improve their employment and economic prospects.”

The goal of DFSMC’s Latina Empowerment Initiative is to address the challenges that impede the Latina community’s acquisition of the skills and knowledge that can lead to fuller participation in the job market and in wider community life. Its bilingual approach breaks the language barriers and opens avenues of self-improvement and language acquisition. In order to best serve the community, DFSMC has adapted a mobile delivery model that transports its “pop-up” Latina Literacy Mobile Program to trusted partner sites. The 4-week program is conducted in both Spanish and English and teaches women how to network, search for jobs, fill out online applications as well as provide assistance with resume writing and job interview skills.

“Dress for Success Mercer’s Latina Mobile Literacy program dovetails nicely with our programs,” states Maria Juega, Executive Director of LALDEF. “The women we serve are often not ready to be competitive in the job market. We are trying to build self-sufficiency, this program fills a gap in the canopy of services we provide for the population we serve.”

Paulina Alvarez, one of the program graduates, was looking for a career change. She has always dreamt of working in real estate. She says the Latina Literacy Program made her feel powerful, it taught her to believe in herself, and provided her with more confidence and skills. “I really love this class. It pushed me to achieve my dreams,” says Alvarez.

Once the Latina Literacy Program is complete, the women can take advantage of DFSMC’s continuum of workshops including its Professional Women’s Group (PWG). PWG offers lifetime membership for women who have gained employment and provides them with practical information and a social support network of peers.

“After graduation, we continue communication and mentorships to make sure the women get the support they need, said Tenzer. “Our Professional Women’s Group helps our women with health/wellness, work/life balance, financial planning and leadership. Many of our clients come full circle and become volunteer and advocates for Dress for Success Mercer County.”

DFSMC is committed to providing the tools needed to help women in the community break the cycle of poverty. Community collaboration is key. DFSMC partners with over 100 social service agencies and community businesses. “Partnering with agencies such as LALDEF enable us to better serve the women in our community. Together we can make a difference,” said Tenzer.

The next bilingual career development workshop with LALDEF will take place on Thursday, September 22nd from 5:30-8:00 pm. Call DFSMC at (609) 896-4112 for details.

To learn more about Dress for Success Mercer County visit

About Dress for Success Mercer County
Dress for Success Mercer County is dedicated to empowering women to achieve economic independence by providing a network of support, professional attire and the development tools to help women thrive in work and in life. The organization provides job readiness, educational, career mentoring and image enhancement programs that support clients through every stage of their employment journey – from pre-employment needs to professional development. Since it opened its doors in 2007, Dress for Success Mercer County has served nearly 4,000 women and girls in the greater Mercer County region.

Dress for Success Mercer County’s core programs - Career Center, Image Enhancement Program, Going Places Network and Professional Women’s Group – provide motivated, job-ready women with a competitive edge in securing jobs, in remaining employed and ultimately becoming contributors to their community. In addition to the Latina Empowerment Initiative, DFSMC has launched additional programs in 2016 - Financial Literacy and the Customer Service Excellence – which are designed to train clients on personal money management, and to attain skills for jobs in the expanding customer service industry. Dress for Success Mercer County’s clients are referred to the organization by over 100 regional social service agencies, nonprofits and educational institutions with which it collaborates closely to serve Mercer County women and girls.
Contact Information
Dress for Success Mercer County
Aileen Kornblatt
Melissa Tenzer

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