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Woman Making a Difference

Enabling Transformations

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“For more than a century, YWCA Omaha has been at the forefront of meeting the critical needs and challenges faced by women and families in our community,” says Natalia Peart, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of YWCA Omaha. The organization formalizes what women do for each other and offers help when needed, with far-reaching effect. The YWCA Omaha’s mission is to help women and their families build lives of strength, growth and stability.



The YWCA has a long history of addressing women’s needs. “The YWCA is the oldest and largest multicultural women’s organization in the world,” Peart says. “Omaha’s chapter has been in existence since 1893, and its purpose has remained the empowerment of women toward personal, social and economic success.”

YWCA Omaha provides programs that address both immediate needs and on-going support. “Perhaps the program the public most closely associates with the YWCA,” Peart says, “is its Domestic Violence program.” In 2009, YWCA Omaha received 10,830 hotline calls. The YWCA offers a 24-hour hotline for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and abuse. Trained counselors help victims who want to end the pattern of violence. Victims are referred to shelters as a safe-haven for themselves, their children and even their pets. Once a woman is physically safe, the YWCA offers counseling, legal advice and programs designed to help survivors find employment.

“The face of our clients is changing… Our clients represent a much broader constituency from all parts of our city.”

Natalia Peart

YWCA Omaha has joined forces with numerous community organizations to enhance services to the city’s women. “Great things can be accomplished when two or more unite to achieve a desired outcome,” Peart says. For example, the YWCA, in conjunction with The University of Nebraska Medical Center, offers free health screenings and health education to YWCA clients at an on-sight, bi-monthly medical clinic.

The YWCA has also established a partnership with the University of Nebraska at Omaha with the goal of preventing intimate partner violence. Key campus personnel, including campus security, counselors, resident hall advisors and student health services, have received training on identifying signs of intimate partner violence.

In 2009 alone, YWCA Omaha served more than 24,000 people in the Omaha area through its legal and personal counseling programs, community education outreach, career programs and advocacy. The organization’s main site is located at 29th and Farnam. However, satellite service locations spread our services throughout the city, such as the Latina Resource Center, local shelters and the Urban League.

Services located in West Omaha beginning this fall will allow the YWCA to reach a greater spectrum of women. “The face of our clients is changing,” Peart says, “Our clients represent a much broader constituency from all parts
of our city.”

Peart explained that because the need for aiding victims of domestic violence is so great, the YWCA dedicates much of its resources to this area. Feedback from the community, however, indicates the need for programming for all women. The YWCA is responding to the growing need through a renaissance of services and expansion of programs. Peart describes it as “returning to its roots.”


In fact, “For more than a century the YWCA has been at the forefront in the community in responding to the needs of all women experiencing various life transitions. Women in transition are those in need of support toward self-sufficiency as well as those simply looking to network and connect with other women through enrichment classes.”

All women, at some point in their lives, go through one transition or another. A woman who has spent the last 14 years raising her children as a stay-at-home mother could be re-entering the work force. Perhaps another woman is going through divorce and is re-establishing herself as a single person rather than one half of a couple. Or maybe a woman
is seeking a career change and needs support and guidance.

Peart explained that there are currently limited places and opportunities in the community for women to connect and to network. She says the YWCA has picked up this gauntlet in renewing its interest in connecting women to each other in order to help them achieve self-sufficiency, define their next steps, or reclaim their aspirations.

By providing the opportunity and the tools, YWCA helps women transition into the next phase of their lives. The Career Services program assists women who are shifting careers or re-entering the work force. Coaches help clients establish and attain their goals. Women receive guidance with résumés and are tutored in the art of interviewing. Clients also have access to a Career Computer Lab to give their job hunt direction. A Clothing Closet stocked with gently-used business attire completes the package so that women can present themselves in the best light for job interviews.

This year, the YWCA is establishing a community-wide mentoring program for women. It will recruit female volunteers in the community who have achieved self-sufficiency and have realized their potential in order to mentor those who are seeking the same for themselves. Peart says research consistently documents the effectiveness of coaching and mentoring, yet access to these resources in Omaha is extremely limited for women who are not in corporate environments.

 “Women entering our program will be matched in a mentoring partnership. The mentor provides a caring and compassionate relationship that helps the mentee stay grounded and focused on personal goals. It’s an opportunity for women to learn to manage risk, receive feedback, open doors and develop their capabilities and skills within a framework of support,” Peart says.

23rd Annual ywca Tribute to Women Luncheon • Tuesday, June 8, 2010 • Holiday Inn Convention Center from 12:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. • www.ywcaomaha.org



Past Honorees


Carolyn Owen Anderson
Marion Marsh Brown
Sandy Bruns
Eddith Buis
Bertha Calloway
Magdalena Garcia
Jane Hill
Lindy Hoyer
Rachel Jacobson
Audrey S. Kauders
Sue Kocsis
Josie Metal-Corbin
Joan Mueller
Laura Partridge
Cindy Melby Phaneuf, Ph.D.
Mary Robert
Carolyn Rutherford
Ree Schonlau
Jennifer Severin 
Frances E. Thurber
Karen White
Roberta Wilhelm

business / entrepreneur

Carol Ann Aschenbrener, M.D.
Janet Barnard
Deborah Bass
Rose Blumkin
Kathleen Cloney Dodge
Kathy English
Linda S. Gloe
Barbara B. Haggart
Carole Woods Harris
Marilyn Schooley Hansen, ASID
Josephine Hernandez
M. Jane Huerter
Carol Hunter
Sheri Idelman
JoAnn Kozeny
Susan Lebens
Linda Lovgren
Dianne Seeman Lozier
Kathleen A. Mallatt
Dana Markel
Fran Marshall
Sandra L. Maass
Jane Miller
Betty Nolan
Judith A. Owen
Mary Frances (Fran) Root
Barbara W. Schaefer
Brenda J. Smith
Jan Stoney
Kathleen Vance
Jamie Gutierrez Vela
Marilyn Wagner
Mary Lou Walker
Business/Entrepreneur cont’d
Pamela Watanabe-Gerdes
Paula Wells
Tracy Zaiss


Mildred Brown
Winnie L. Callahan
Melanie Morrissey Clark
Amy Friedman
Janice Gilmore
Sandra Goetzinger-Comer
Andrea “Andy” Hoig
Vicki Elliott Krecek
Diny Landen
Jennifer Mahlendorf
Claudia Martin
Lisa Mellen
Ellen Moran
Sibyl Myers
Luanne Mainelli Nelson
Lynn Phares
Rosalee A. Roberts
Deanna Sands
Carol Schrader
Anne Johnson Steinhoff
Maureen McCann Waldron
Marguerita Washington, Ph.D.


Edwardene Taylor Armstrong
Dr. Joanne Carlson
Connie Claussen
Dr. Barbara Waldron Coffey
Brenda Council
Tessie Edwards
Dr. Connie Eichhorn
Katherine Fletcher
Carolyn L. Grice
Liz Lueder Karnes, Ed.D.
Nancy Oberst
Bonnie Pryor
Sister Mary Evangeline Randolph, RSM
Connie Spellman
Wilda C. Stephenson
Maryanne Stevens,
    Ph.D., RSM

education k-12

Nancy Faber
Helen Kelley
Elizabeth Kish
Patricia Miltner
Martha J. Stofko
Kathy Trotter

post-secondary education

Pat Callone
Chancellor Nancy Belck
Diane K. Donelson
Gina Ponce
Mary Lynn Reiser
Sara Woods

human services / community advocate

Marian B. Andersen
Theresa Barron-McKeagney
Inez M. Boyd
Valda Boyd Ford
Carole Boye
Liz Campbell
Dorothy Eure
Mary Lee Fitzsimmons
Ann K. Goldstein
Mary Heng-Braun
Marian Ivers
Kathleen Turner Jeffries
Jamie Moore
Kathy Bigsby Moore
Patricia Newman
Marta Nieves
Penny Parker
Mary Dean Pearson
Jessie Rasmussen
Marilyn Ross, RSM
Donna Tubach-Davis
Lyn Wallin Ziegenbein


Suzanne W. Braddock, M.D.
Barbara Braden, R.N., Ph.D.
Kathryn A. Dessonville
Theresa Fitzgerald
Ann Grandjean, Ed.D.
Sheila Hawes
Rhonda A. Hawks
Sam Hohman
Shirley Landen Huerter, M.D.
Judge Patricia A. Lamberty
Jennifer Larsen, M.D.
Patricia Lenaghan, R.N. M.S., CEN.
Kate Mahern
Rita Melgares
Sergeant Teresa Negron
Magda Peck, Sc.D.
Jane Potter, M.D.
Judge Jane H. Prochaska
Lynda W. Shafer
Susan Swindells, M.D.
Gail Walling Yanney, M.D.
Judy Zaiman Gotsdiner

medical professions

Amy Haddad, PhD.
Stephanie Koraleski, PhD
Sade Kosoko-Lasaki, M.D.
Kristine McVea, M.D., M.P.H.
Debra Romberger, M.D.
Jackie A. Thielen

professional volunteer

Susan A. Buffett
Lynne D. Boyer
Helen Cherniack
Danny Colladay
Margre Durham
Barbara Fitzgerald
Deb Grewcock
Ann Strauss Hosford
Mary Jacobson
Mary Landen
Sunny Lundgren
Jodie L. Mackintosh
Kathy Martin
Sharon Marvin
Dolores (Dee) Owen
Sandy Parker
Carol Russell
Deb Schmadeke
Suzanne Scott
Teri Teutsch
Mimi Waldbaum
Cheryl Wild

young leader

Karen Anderson
Stephanie Kirby
Jennifer Peterson
Adriana Melana Pina
Mary Kate Slowiaczek
Lindsay Stodden
Gaoia Vang
Jessica Warren

-end- metroMAGAZINE

May 15, 2010 12:12 pm
 Posted by  ktparish8791

I recently wrote a college paper this school quarter on the YWCA Omaha program. I was so proud to share my new-found knowledge on the amazing and uplifting details of all that these wonderful volunteers do for the women of our community! Domestic violence is tragic... I know because I've lived it. It is such a blessing to have kind hearts in our world today who offer they time, without pay, simply out of the goodness of their hearts to offer assistance to those in need. YWCA Omaha even has a 24-hour emergency hotline. This is just remarkable in my eyes, and I offer my full support.

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