JVS recently honored West Bloomfield resident Myriam Cohen with
the 2014 Women to Work Award for overcoming tremendous hurdles to find success
in the workforce.
When her 24-year marriage ended, Cohen worried about how she and
her two sons would manage. Her sudden divorce left the stay-at-home mom feeling
worthless and unprepared to enter the workforce.
Cohen had a college degree in early childhood education, but she
hadn’t worked outside the home in nearly 20 years. Plus, she yearned for more
than just a job with a paycheck, she wanted to discover her life’s calling.
A friend recommended the JVS Women to Work Program, which launched
Cohen on a path to self-discovery. During the eight-week program, she completed
career interest and work skills assessments, learned how to write a resume and
cover letter, practiced interviewing and took computer
classes. Cohen flourished in the program and learned that she indeed possessed
guidance of Judy Richmond, Women to Work coordinator, Cohen looked for a
volunteer opportunity to build upon her strong people and organizational skills
and to gain work experience.
confidence and hope, Myriam became a volunteer at a senior living apartment
complex and discovered that she loved working with the elderly. Her experience
led to part-time work as an assistant to the program coordinator at the
Fleischman Residence / Blumberg Plaza on the Jewish Community Center campus in
working at Fleishman for almost a year, I was very fortunate to have an amazing
mentor who taught me a lot about programming activities for seniors,” said
Cohen. “But the most important thing I learned is that I have to build trust
with the residents so they feel at ease with telling me what they like and
Cohen is now
employed full time at Meer Apartments, also on the Jewish Community Center
campus. As activities director, Cohen plans and implements three to four
activities daily for the community of nearly 200 residents.
really brought me down, and I was petrified that the Women to Work Program
would just confirm that I had nothing to offer,” said Cohen. “But JVS taught me that my life wasn’t over.
Every step of the program led me to getting to know myself and realizing that I
had something to offer.”
Cohen at the annual Trade Secrets on March 12 at Knollwood Country Club. The
annual fundraising event raises money to support the JVS Women to Work Program,
which helps women enter or re-enter the workforce
after life-changing events, such as divorce or spousal death, disability or
The five-week program helps women assess vocational interests, identify work-related skills, prepare resumes, develop interviewing and networking skills, and launch a job search. The next session of Women to Work Program begins with an informational meeting from 9-11 a.m. April 24, 2014 at JVS, 29699 Southfield Rd., Southfield. For information or to register, contact Judy Richmond at firstname.lastname@example.org or (248) 233-4232, or visit www.jvsdet.org/women.