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Mercy Connections Women’s Small Business Program graduates class of entrepreneurs

Cycle 56 graduates posing with instructors and program director

On Sunday, December 10, 2017, thirteen women graduated from Mercy Connections Women’s Small Business Program’s (WSBP) class Start Up: Comprehensive Business Planning. Guest speaker, Dr. Janet Carscadden, PT, DPT, E-RYT, YACEP, owner of Evolution Physical Therapy and Yoga in Burlington, Vt, encouraged the graduates with her own experiences as a WSBP graduate. “When I went…

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Bhava C. – Women’s Small Business Program graduate

Bhava headshot; Photo Credit: Jenny Rebecca Photography

“Mercy Connections created an open, welcoming safe space to walk through the personal and professional process of being in business.” In the summer of 2012, I was working in Waitsfield. A mentor encouraged me to look into Mercy Connections. I did a little online research, then filed it away. Fast forward to 2014, I started my…

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Solange – Participant

Solange posing with arms folded; Photo Credit: Jenny Rebecca Photography

“You are not alone. If you have someone else, you can work together and support each other.” I came to the U.S. from Brazil in 1997, first in Massachusetts. In 2006, I came to VT with my young family with 2 ½ year old twin boys. I had a car accident. After that I was…

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Jeanne L. – volunteer

Jeanne posing; Photo credit: Jenny Rebecca Photography

“I’ve learned to say I love you in Romanian.” I saw an ad for the Mentoring program in the paper. Then I saw another ad for kitchen help through the United Way and thought, “This is something I’d like to do.” I’ve often worked in underserved areas. It’s a way for me to give back…

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Sharyl G. – mentor

Crystal and Sharyl embracing; Photo credit: Jenny Rebecca Photography

“I love how it takes both of us to say ‘Yes!’ again and again as we build a strong connection” I taught school for 30 + years, children ages 8-10. I know that having a family member in prison is terribly discombobulating for children. I decided when I retired from teaching I would take the training…

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Crystal C. – mentee

Image of Crystal posing; Photo credit: Jenny Rebecca Photography

“What have I gained? Self-esteem, healthy friendships – I even had a book dedicated to me!” When I was still incarcerated, I learned about Mercy Connections [Vermont Women’s Mentoring Program*]. After 5 ½ years of being mentored by Sharyl, I can say I’ve learned and grown a lot! She’s an amazing friend, and we encourage…

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Mark K. – Participant

Mark posing with hands folded; Photo credit: Jenny Rebecca Photography

“It may not be at a fast pace, but I’m inspired to keep moving forward.” I was released from prison July 2015. When released I moved into the shelter. I had no family here and had to be here because of probation. I was unable to work and sat around at the park day after…

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