change lives.

Natusha’s story: From reluctant to inspired

This was one phone call Natusha wasn’t keen to make, but her social worker pushed her on it: call the Saint John Women’s Empowerment Network – they can help you. 

Natusha is glad she took the advice. A mother of two on social assistance, she says she wouldn’t be where she is if not for the programs and support she received from the United Way-supported organization, which aims to give women a voice and focuses on tackling the root causes of poverty. 

She completed all three of the network’s programs: self-esteem building, empowerment training to help women take the next step in their life such as landing a job or furthering their education, and another leadership course. Through the training, Natusha proved to be a determined leader who puts all she has into everything she does. 

“Before I took the programs, I just kept thinking, ‘Is this all that I’m gonna be able to do for my kids?’ I want my kids to have better, and taking those programs showed me that I can do better for them if I apply myself,” she says.

“The programs are life-changing. If you go and you give it the effort, you’ll see a change, not only in yourself but in your surroundings as well, because you learn how to deal with things differently.” 

Today, with a positive outlook and a sense of humour, she tackles challenges such as public speaking and shines. Natusha, a dedicated and hard worker, has gone on to become a student at New Brunswick Community College. She continues to receive coaching from the Women’s Empowerment Network – and is so inspired that one of her goals is to work with the network to help other women.

Natusha is just one of more than 200 women to go through Women’s Empowerment Network programs over the years – programs that are possible thanks to generous United Way donors.