Climbing the Steps to Independence
Who They Are
Sharon Cox founded The Ladder Alliance in response to her experience as a high school business computer teacher in a low socio-economic area in El Paso, Texas. Most of her students were living in poverty and were the children of migrant farm workers. Knowing that basic computer skills training were essential to working in a technological job market, Sharon realized that the computer skills her students were learning would assure they could secure employment following high school graduation.
Following a move to Fort Worth in 2001, Sharon was able to realize her dream of opening a non-profit focusing on teaching computer skills to individuals who have either been in a domestic violence situation or in a low income situation, by giving them the tools and support to realize their true potential, pursue, their career goals, and lead happier, healthier, independent lives. In January of 2003, The Ladder Alliance held its first class consisting of seven students from Women’s Haven (now SafeHaven) in donated space at First Christian Church.
What They Do
As an established 501(c)(3) organization, The Ladder Alliance serves between 300 and 400 women annually. The mission is to provide women victims of domestic violence and low-income women with the tools to lead self-reliant, independent and successful lives.
Since computer/online/internet is a major component of how society and businesses function day to day, they start by teaching their students all of the necessary functions of the computer, internet use, and the entire professional office skills training.
In each class, they integrate self-esteem and character building, as well as inspiration and motivational topics and discussions. Students work on group projects, tackling real-life scenarios/challenges found in the workplace, they learn Business English and communication skills and attend 10 weeks customer service classes taught by Tarrant County Community College (TCCC) which earn them a certificate from TCCC.
During these 16 weeks, students must host an office luncheon only using email communication with their fellow colleagues in class and present a speech in public. The Ladder Alliance also partners with staffing agencies so students can participate in mock interviews, resume writing, and public speaking. These are only a few highlights of all of the things they learn throughout the program.
These amazing students then graduate this intensive program with a finished and polished resume, a robust portfolio of everything they have done throughout the program, and are fully prepared to land that dream job, get a raise, get a promotion or seek higher education!
How You Can Help
The Success Store – Dress Up, Show Up and Never Give Up
If you are local to the Fort Worth area, you can donate to The Success Store. Women entering or re-entering the workforce often lack the appropriate clothing to wear to interviews and work. The Success Store addresses this barrier to employment and provides an incentive to keep participants engaged and motivated throughout the course. Participants earn points used to “purchase” items through attendance, class involvement, and punctuality. The Success Store is also a resource for other social service agencies in Tarrant County. Through a voucher system, agencies can refer their clients to the Success Store to receive two professional outfits and a pair of shoes for interviews and work. Help us keep our store stocked with the needed assortment of sizes and items. Donate your individual items or help organize a clothing drive at your place of employment, the organization you belong to, or church. Find out more here success store
Donations are also always appreciated. Our donation of $1,000 will be utilized to directly benefit the students the Ladder Alliance serves by way of the programs they take to better their lives.
To donate, please click the link below. As always, any amount is so greatly appreciated.