May 2016 Graduates

Tefany & Olivia, Spring 2016 Graduates

Tefany & Olivia, Spring 2016 Graduates

Congratulations to Olivia and Tefany, our May 2016 graduates!

Each woman completed a 13-week session that included studying the Bible, time management, Jobs for Life, keyboarding, money management, Getting Ahead in a Just-Gettin’-By-World, computer, boundaries, relationships, individual counseling, mentoring, job readiness, and job searching.

Mary Holland, CWJC’s first graduate, delivered the charge to students. She talked about the importance of staying connected to God.

Tefany is enrolled at Cisco State College and will study to become a physical therapy technician. Olivia is an office worker at The Arbor.

We pray that God will bless them as they begin the next phase of their journey.

New Employees

We began our 2016 year with new staff workers. Shirley Gossard is not new, of course, but now she can be Executive Director and not have to chase all the other things that are required to make this operation work.

Darla Richardson has become our site director. She is responsible for everyday functions and certainly got us organized!

Kathy Stevens is a great asset to CWJC in her capacity as Employment Coordinator. She helps familiarize business owners with our ministry and works with the women and grads to target their individual skills with particular businesses and positions. She also helps teach Jobs for Life.

Debi Stewart, who is one of our graduates, is our Alumni Coordinator. She helps teach Getting Ahead in a Just-Gettin’-By World and works in the office.

These are the ladies that God has placed at CWJC to help with the necessary tasks that make CWJC so successful.

Multiple volunteers teach, mentor, prepare meals, take care of the clothes closet, answer the telephone, help with office work, and more. We could not function without all of this great volunteer help.

We covet your prayers for CWJC/CMJC as we strive to give men and women a place to better themselves and to prepare for employment as they become closer to God and learn to trust Him to help them in their daily living.

HSU Provides Counseling

CWJC would like to express its thanks to the Family Psychology Department at Hardin-Simmons University for adding free individual counseling to the group counseling service it already provides for participants.

“CWJC is about change,” said Darla Richardson, CWJC Program Director. “Participants want their lives to be different, and we want to empower them to make changes necessary to meet their goals. Individual counseling affords an opportunity for each participant to cope with those things that are holding them back.”

Shirley Gossard Named AAUW Outstanding Woman of Achievement

Shirley and Peg PhotoShirley Gossard, executive director of CWJC, was recently named a 2016 Outstanding Woman of Achievement and Promise and Courage by the Abilene chapter of the American Association of University Women (AAUW).

The award recognizes women “who have distinguished themselves as outstanding members of their community through individual excellence,” said Courtney Vletas, AAUW Women of Outstanding Achievement Event Chair.

Gossard, who is a retired elementary school teacher, spent six years in prison ministry before Pastor Vernon of Broadview Baptist Church asked her in 2005 if she’d be interested in forming a CWJC chapter in Abilene.

“She did everything in the beginning,” said Betty Burgess, current CWJC Bible study teacher. “She put together the program piece by piece over 10 years.” That included recruiting board members, finding a meeting place, identifying potential donors, recruiting participants and volunteers, and teaching everything except Bible study.

The ministry, which exists to serve women “who don’t want charity, but want to be equipped with the tools needed to provide for themselves and their children,” said Burgess, has served 91 graduates. Included among them are office workers, managers and one counselor. It is now housed in the former College Heights building after outgrowing three previous locations. Nearly 40 women currently volunteers teachers, journey partners, or receptionists. More provide lunches for the women when the ministry is in session.

Women can be nominated for this honor by members of the general public and former Women of Achievement. A nominating committee typically consisting of one former Woman of Achievement, two AAUW members, and two community members then reviews, rates and discusses the nominees.

Fall 2015 Session Began August 31

The fall session of CWJC began Monday, August 31, with six women enrolled. One more joined us Friday.

For the first seven weeks of the 13-week session, the women will study the Bible, money management, keyboarding, computer skills, Jobs for Life, time management, relationships, Getting Ahead in a Just-Gettin’-By World, and boundaries. Friday-afternoon seminars will address a variety of topics.

Jobs for Life teacher, Dianna Rosser, and Employment Coordinator, Kathy Stephens, devoted the first week’s seminar to demonstrating how to mix and match a few basic pieces of clothing and accessories like scarves to achieve a wide variety of looks.

After the demonstration, the women were invited to visit the Clothes Closest and select one interview-appropriate outfit along with accessories and shoes.




Grace Tabernacle Volunteers Provide Lunches

Mary Pieper and Sharon King , Lunch Volunteers

Mary Pieper and Sharon King of Grace Tabernacle

CWJC is blessed to be able to count on many individuals, Sunday School classes and church voluteers to provide lunches every day classes are in session. Participants, journey partners, staff and volunteers meet at noon to share a potluck-style meal, enjoy a time of fellowship, and clean up afterwards.

Sharon King, Mary Pieper, and the women of Grace Tabernacle are among the many people who have provided meals since finding out about the program two years ago from a couple of their church members. Faithful servants of the Lord, they provide as many as six to eight lunches a session and are always ready to step in to help when needed.

The ladies provide a protein-based main dish and whatever else they believe will taste good with their selection. One of their most requested recipes is for coconut pie.

They say that seeing what God does in the lives of women who complete the program is what motivates them to volunteer. “God blesses us, returns a blessing.”

“There is no respecter of persons here,” Sharon said.

“We just feel like God wants us here,” added Mary.

They cite Kajeanna Jones, a Class 12 graduate and member of their church, as a perfect example of how the program can positively affect a woman. She now works for Betty Hardwick and will graduate from the University of Texas, Permian Basin, with a degree in psychology next year.

Coconut Pie as Prepared by Jean King

one rolled out Pilsbury pie crust baked until golden brown

1 large box vanilla pudding, not instant

1 1/2 tsp cornstarch barely moistened with milk

4 egg yolks

Follow directions on pudding box adding 1 1/2 tsp. of cornstarch barely moistened with milk. After mixture becomes hot, add a little bit of it to the 4 beaten yolks in order to prevent them from curdling. Then add the yolk mixture to the pudding.

4 eggs whites

Whip 4 eggs whites with about 1/2 cup of sugar and about a tsp. of vanilla extract.

Assemble pie, sprinkle coconut flakes on meringue, then bake until the meringue is set.




$2,965 Raised at Concert

Gospel Quartet 1.899x300

CWJC appreciates the support of local performers Clay Jacobs, Endurance, and The Big Country Autoharp and Dulcimer Club, as well as supporters who donated approximately $3,000 to the program during April’s benefit concert.CWJC would also like to thank Starbucks for providing complimentary coffee and many volunteers for providing dozens of cookies.

It costs about $1,200-$1,500 per woman to complete the free-to-participants 13-week course designed to equip women for stability in life and employment.

So far, seven women have been accepted into the fall session. Two more will be working one-on-one with a Bible study teacher and a mentor.

The fall session begins August 31.

Memorial Garden Created


Audrey 5Master Gardener Audrey Gillespie recently met with several CWJC graduates to create a butterfly garden in memory of graduates Tammie Mitzel, Hazel Potts, and Violet Jones. The garden is located in front of CWJC’s home in the former College Heights elementary school at 1450 N. 17th Street.

Audrey selected flowering plants that will attract a variety of butterflies and caterpillars, including monarchs and swallowtails.  Included in the design are lantana, daisies, yarrow, butterfly weed, primroses, salvia, and parsley.

Graduates hope to follow the growth and development of monarchs and swallowtails from eggs to caterpillars to butterflies.

Fall Applications Being Accepted Now

Applications for the fall session of classes are now being accepted. Prospective students will need to stop by the office located in the former College Heights school building at 1450 N. 17th in order to fill out an application. Summer office hours are 8 a.m. until noon Monday through Friday.

Entrance interviews will be scheduled the week of August 17th.

Orientation and the first day of classes will be August 31 from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. Lunch will be provided.

For more information, please call (325) 701-9250.

Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon

Thirty four of our seventy one regular volunteers attended the CWJC Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon May 23rd.  Eva Ostenberg was recognized as the 2013 Volunteer of the Year.

Christian Women’s Job Corps could not operate without our volunteers.  According to our 2012 annual report,  96 volunteers contributed 2369 volunteer hours.  At a value of $22.14/hour, that’s $52, 449.66!!!!  Thank you so much for your unselfish service!