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Empowering Women for Success: The Ladder Alliance's Impact

Thursday, April 4, 2024
Vanessa Keesee receives the Sharon Cox award from Kathryn Thalken, Executive Director for the Ladder Alliance.

For Vanessa Keesee, education and job skills aren't just bullet points on a resume, they're pathways to a better life.

In today's competitive job market, lacking a high school diploma or the necessary technology skills for employment leaves little hope. But Vanessa's story defies these odds. With support from the Ladder Alliance, she not only overcame these obstacles but now is equipped with the tools to forge a brighter future—and she's doing just that.

"Thanks to Ladder Alliance's computer and office skills training, I'm now ready for a future filled with opportunities," said Vanessa. 

The Ladder Alliance provides women, particularly victims of domestic violence and those with low incomes, the resources they need to lead self-sufficient, successful lives. Through classes tailored to the demands of the modern workplace, the organization teaches women the technical skills necessary to secure stable employment and improve their earning potential.

Vanessa's success story is just one of many that have been made possible by The Ladder Alliance's commitment to empowering women. That's why United Way of Tarrant County's Women United network granted them $35,000 in 2023 to support their workforce development and job skills training programs.

Vanessa began her journey in the organization's basic computer skills class, learning internet fundamentals, how to create an email, and essential skills in Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint. Along the way, she earned her GED certificate, a milestone that marked the beginning of a new chapter in her life.

With a drive to succeed, she transitioned to The Ladder Alliance's professional office skills class, where she delved into the intricacies of office management, customer service and professional speaking. Little did she know that these skills would become the foundation for her future success.

Opportunity came knocking when one of her instructors recommended her for a position with an employer seeking someone with her exact skill set. Vanessa seized the opportunity, acing the interview and was hired on the spot as office manager. 

Last year, the Ladder Alliance honored Vanessa with the Sharon Cox award, named after the organization's founder, for her dedication to continuing her education. 

United Way of Tarrant County's Women United grants to organizations such as the Ladder Alliance come from an endowment funded by Women United members and proceeds from our annual Investing in Impact luncheon and related events, such as the Guns, Girls and Pearls Clay Shoot. 

Join Women United in their commitment to empower women and girls in Tarrant County by attending this year's Investing in Impact luncheon on May 9. At the event, grants will be awarded to local nonprofits dedicated to the Women United mission.