Women helping empower other women in El Paso County

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- A local event brought together hundreds of women looking for jobs, but it went further than just seeking employment.

It was all about empowering women and giving them a place to stand out.

"I said to my husband, I feel like dreaming up something to help these women," explained Jo Mitchell.

Twenty years later, Mitchell's dream has turned into more than she ever imagined.

"I've had people say to me over the years, why do you think you can change somebody in one morning," said Mitchell.

The change comes from women helping women right here in El Paso County.

"You gave me whatever I needed to make me feel important and start thinking in a different way," said Mitchell.

Those are the stories she hears all the time from women she's helped through the years.

The Department of Human Services now runs Women Helping Women.

"Women benefit by knowing there's a community of women that are there behind them who might help them feel successful and be supporting while they either help them look for jobs or look to advance in their careers," said Julie Krow, Executive Director for the Department of Human Services.

"Very helpful to know I'm not alone and not being judge for who I am or what I've done," said Aleeya Harris, who is searching for a job.

Harris is just finishing college and looking for her first real job.

The event is geared toward Harris and other women who are transitioning of assistance from the Department of Human Services.

"They were receiving benefits, but no they're ready to become self-sufficient and support themselves and their families," said Krow.

"When you come to these events, you feel supported, you feel like there is a community standing behind you because this is what we all need, we all need a little help from somebody sometimes," said Trudy L'Tova, who came looking for a job.

That help is exactly what Mitchell wanted to do 20 years ago, seeing that dream become reality.

"I didn't let it fall, I didn't want to," added Mitchell.

The next Women Helping Women will be held in October.

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