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Melissa Tenzer

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Discovering Courage in the Midst of Change

Dress for Success Mercer County holds 2nd annual Women’s Empowerment Breakfast.

Lawrenceville, NJ, May 17, 2017 --( On Wednesday, May 10, 2017, Dress for Success Mercer County held its 2nd annual Women’s Empowerment Breakfast at Trenton Country Club. Rosalyn Taylor O’Neale, author, corporate leader, consultant and educator captured the attention of the nearly 200 guests as she delivered her keynote address “Discovering Courage in the Midst of Change.” She engaged the audience with her passionate talk of how we live in a cocoon and are ready to blossom, but just need the courage to change. O’Neale stated, “Courage is like water. It’s the water that is necessary for the seed to grow… sometimes, you have to dig deep for it.”

DFSMC’s Executive Director, Melissa Tenzer was delighted to have O’Neale as this year’s keynote speaker. “She truly understands our mission and is such an inspiration for the women we serve and the community at large,” said Tenzer.

A highlight of this year’s Breakfast was the announcement that DFSMC is approaching its 10-year anniversary. The organization was founded in 2007 with $50,000 seed money provided by Bristol-Myers Squibb. The first board meeting was held at BMS in Mercer County.

The best part of any Dress for Success event is hearing the stories of the clients. Several clients attended this year’s Breakfast. Four women were highlighted when a microphone was passed around the room where they briefly explained what DFS meant to them.

Rachel stated, “The women that represent DFS and the women in the program, whom I have grown to love and admire did not get their strength and grace because everything in their lives to this point worked out. They got that way because things went wrong, and they handled it. They handled it in a thousand different ways on a thousand different days, but most importantly, they handled it. And that’s what makes these women of all ages, races and backgrounds my Superheroes!”

Yamina shared this with the crowd, “When I hit rock bottom during the recession and couldn’t find support within my own family or resources I knew of, Dress for Success became the family I leaned on. The amount of support, confidence and encouragement I received was immeasurable and like nothing I’ve ever experienced.”

Jerry Lee Wardy, a client who is from DFSMC’s Trenton UIH location, stepped up to the podium and moved the audience with her special story about triumphing over homelessness to becoming a strong, self-sufficient woman. “What Dress for Success means to me, it means a lot,” said Wardy. “We as women sometimes don’t get the recognition that we need. Sometimes people judge us by just looking at us and not really opening up to really see us for who we are. So I really appreciate everyone who has had a hand at Dress for Success and has helped me become the woman I am becoming today.”

“I am so proud of all of the women in the room today,” said Tenzer. “Jerry is a shining example of what we hope to accomplish at Dress for Success. I admire and am inspired by all of our clients who take that step and demonstrate courage in the midst of change.”

Bloomberg served as the Breakfast’s Title Sponsor. Additional sponsors included Bristol-Myers Squibb, Saul Ewing, Victory, Wawa, Capital Health, Fox Rothschild, LLP, investorsBank, PNC, PSE&G, Robert Half, Stark & Stark and Royal Bank.

The money raised from the breakfast will help fund the full continuum of career programs and services provided by Dress for Success Mercer County which empower women to achieve economic independence.

To learn more about Dress for Success 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 opening its doors in 2007, Dress for Success Mercer County has served 5,000 women and girls in Central NJ.
Contact Information
Dress for Success Mercer County
Aileen Kornblatt
Melissa Tenzer

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