Friday, March 31, 2023


Donald Trump indicted by Manhattan grand jury; Georgia campaign fights to reopen local hospitals; New Mexico creates first-ever $100M conservation fund.


Former President Donald Trump is indicted by Manhattan's district attorney, House Republicans take aim at renewables in new energy bill and House Dems introduce the Women's Protection Health Act.


Small towns respond to a hidden housing and homelessness crisis, a new national weather prediction system will help close the gap between urban and rural forecasting, and more rural communities are eligible for a design project to boost economic development.

Quarter-Century of Women’s Empowerment Yields $10K Prize for Charity


Monday, December 5, 2011   

LEXINGTON, Ky. - The founder of an organization that helps empower low-income women in Appalachia feels she's just won the lottery after finding out she's the $10,000 grand prize winner of a national contest by AARP. Jane Stephenson founded the New Opportunity School for Women in Berea nearly a quarter-century ago, and a prize of ten grand was announced last week for her charity as part of AARP's Create the Good "Win and Do Good" contest honoring community service by or for people age 50 and older.

Stephenson says the sweepstakes has drawn great publicity to her cause, while reinforcing a key mission of the New Opportunity School for Women: volunteering.

"And, it ties in so well with one component of our leadership development, because we are encouraging the women that come through our program to volunteer."

The executive director of the New Opportunity School for Women, Lori Sliwa, is overjoyed by the exposure it's given the organization, as recruitment has been a major problem. The program gives middle-aged women in Appalachia tools to improve their personal, financial and educational circumstances.

"It is giving them back their own power. Self-esteem is key; it's a core component to what we do. And we really help women re-ignite that fire within and realize their full potential."

Nearly 700 women have graduated from the program in its nearly-25-year history. And within those numbers, Sliwa boasts, there's a lot to brag about.

"79 percent of our graduates are employed, in school, or both. And the really incredible statistic is that 80 percent have completed some form of higher education; everything from an associate's to a master's degree, and we even have, I believe it's two, with PhDs."

Mimi Castaldi, vice president for volunteer engagement at AARP, says Jane Stephenson's record of commitment with the New Opportunity School for Women is a model of volunteerism the national contest sought to recognize. Castaldi hopes stories like Stephenson's will inspire other older Americans to "create the good" in their own communities.

"She started it 24 years ago. She was just about AARP's membership age when she started, just a little bit under 50. And, she's been going strong every since. And, what a difference she has made in that time period."

The New Opportunity School for Women is a free three-week career and leadership development program that teaches essential workplace skills for low-income women in the central Appalachian region.

Stephenson had already won $5,000 in AARP's regional volunteer contest. There were 1800 total entries in the sweepstakes, and public on-line voting determined the grand prize winner.

get more stories like this via email

Parents, students and teachers are raising concerns over proposed education policies in the Sunshine State. (Pixabay)

Social Issues

Algunos estudiantes, padres y educadores planean reunirse para enviar un mensaje al gobernador Ron DeSantis en el Día de los Inocentes. El …

Health and Wellness

Small-business owners in North Carolina are reaching out to legislators for help, citing hospital mergers as one reason their health-care costs are …



Initial money through the American Rescue Plan Act provided education funding to 140 school districts in Tennessee to support post-pandemic academic recovery, student mental health and schools' ability to reopen safely. (f11photo/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Tennesseans aren't the only ones mourning the tragic loss of three children and three adults at this week's shooting at Nashville's Covenant School…

Health and Wellness

Doctors in Iowa are studying the brains of babies to learn more about sleep patterns in adults and teens. The United Health Foundation reports one-…

While more than 3,500 people have been awarded the Medal of Honor since it was created by President Abraham Lincoln, only 65 of them are alive today. (The White House)

Social Issues

While National Medal of Honor Month is ending, plans to develop a museum and monument for the award are continuing. Numerous Medal of Honor …

Social Issues

Construction of the Medal of Honor Museum and Foundation is under way in Arlington, Texas - a place to pay tribute to those who've earned the …

Social Issues

Labor leaders in various industries recently celebrated the 85th anniversary of a federal law that laid the groundwork for registered apprenticeship p…


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021