RISE! Job Readiness Program - Graduate Anna Snyder


RISE! (formerly known as Going Places Network or GPN) is an 8 week training program that meets once a week and focuses on three areas:  job readiness, personal development, and retail basics. During the job readiness training, they focus on resume writing, interview preparation, drafting cover letters, and developing an elevator pitch. The personal development training covers creating a vision board, goal setting, time management, women in transition, and women in the workplace. Lastly, retail basics teaches customer service, selling, and managing inventory. Through this program, women have access to a personal job coach, industry experts, guest speakers, and support staff.

We ended our first RISE! cohort last month with 90% of our participants landing jobs! One of our many shining stars in our program is Anna Snyder, who has been in the islands for 17 years. During her time here, she found it challenging to gain employment and grow professionally with the limited opportunities presented to her. The RISE! program gave her confidence in her communication and interviews skills, which was an area of known challenge for Anna.

Anna was first introduced to YWCA O‘ahu during her visits to the monthly benefit sale. She loved the assortment of clothing options at affordable prices. She heard about our programs and wanted to take advantage of them, and ended up connecting with Dress for Success™ at a job fair. Through Dress for Success ™, Anna received a professional suiting, which really helped since all her professional attire no longer fit her and her budget left it challenging to purchase a new work-appropriate outfit.  She was also quickly recruited to be part of the inaugural RISE! cohort.

The program included women from many different backgrounds. Anna said she, “appreciated being able to share her experiences and was happy to gain hope and restore her confidence.” Besides the professional attire, Anna said the most valuable aspect of the program for her was the mock interviews. They taught her how to be succinct in her response and gave her a chance to practice responding to challenging questions about her employment history. Each session began with a continental breakfast that was a welcoming addition because it allowed participants to enjoy their first meal of the day as they networked with other participants. At the end of the program, she was also offered to come back anytime to attend a few classes or just reconnect with the resources provided at YWCA O‘ahu, such as access to the computers.

Thanks to the RISE! program and Anna’s hard work, she landed a job at Finance Factors where she is getting acquainted with the staff and rigorous but fruitful training. Her advice is, “Join RISE! It’s well worth your time and investment to join the next RISE! program. There are many years of experience present in each cohort, and participants not only learn from the speakers and coaches, but from each other.”

If you would like to support RISE!, YWCA O‘ahu is looking for dedicated job coaches and, in particular, Human Resource professionals who have a background in resume writing, job readiness, and mock interviews. Also, a generous donation of $500 will give a woman access to this eight-week job support program that will help her address and eliminate the frustrating obstacles that she may face while she searches for new employment opportunities.

For more information on how to support RISE! please email dfsh@ywcaoahu.org or call 695-2603