Women Empowered Resilience
August 21, 2018 by BFC
In the Community
Guest Author: Judith Hawkins
In today’s fast paced world, many people talk about resilience. Webster’s dictionary defines the word as “an ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change.”
Many of our clients are well versed in handling these things.
Ms. Cynthia Bassil (a Women Empowered participant) is an example of the positive changes that happen when people come together as a community to support each other.
For over 20 years, Ms. Bassil was a bus operator for OSSE (The Office of the State Superintendent of Education), when an illness left her unable to work. Left without the ability to work and no income, she became depressed. Her neighbor, Ms. Mercy (also a Women Empowered participant) invited Ms. Bassil to come to Bread for the City’s SE Center and join the Women Strong DC (now Women Empowered program). Ms. Mercy also assisted Ms. Bassil in applying for disability retirement, and these events were a turning point in her life.
As the months passed by, Ms. Bassil’s health improved, she began to participate in many of the physical activities designed for participants in the Women Empowered program.
One day last fall, when leaving a Women Empowered workshop in Bread for the City’s SE Center, she crossed Good Hope Road and discovered that the United Planning Organization had classes where she could learn even more different skills. She signed up for cooking classes with Chef Thomas. At the completion of the course, she passed the final examination and received her Food Handler’s License! She is now preparing to attend classes at the University of the District of Columbia (UDC) for medical billing and coding and Certified Nursing Assistant upon the completion of her CASAs exam.
Ms. Bassil is a soft spoken woman who continues to grow stronger each day. She has been an inspiration for many of the Women Empowered participants to return to school and learn new skills. I personally am inspired by her determination and strength.
Ms. Bassil is definitely an empowered woman!