Sarah Navarrette, who graduated from Eastern New Mexico University with a bachelor's degree in communication with an emphasis in public relations in 2017, uses her work as the campaign outreach associate for the United Way of Eastern New Mexico (UWENM) to make a difference in the local area.
She is part of the UWENM Women's Initiative Network (WIN), an organization for local women to celebrate and empower women in the community through events, fundraisers and projects.
WIN sponsors the Successful You Career Closet (SYCC), which was created in 2013 to provide local women with the necessary clothing to help advance their lives and careers.
"Sometimes women want to move forward in the work world, yet lack the clothing for a job interview or to start a job in a professional atmosphere," said Sarah. "A new wardrobe, or even one new outfit, can be a huge obstacle for someone struggling to put food on their family's table. SYCC helps women take that next step in creating financial stability."
Sarah explained that the free clothing provided through the SYCC "eases the minds of women who want to better themselves. If you look good, you feel empowered to reach your dreams."
WIN memberships fund the "Game Changers" program, which is UWENM's direct assistance to individuals. The program seeks to fill the gaps and "finish the job" of helping over 600 families, through providing funds for birth certificates, IDs and more.
There are many success stories from "Game Changers," including a young mother who was able to move her family out of the Hartley House and into her own apartment when the program helped her acquire birth certificates for everyone in her family. Another family was provided assistance to help make their rent, which meant the family did not have to scramble for a new home while the mother recuperated from emergency surgery.
Sarah's job duties with UWENM include running the organization's social media, overseeing marketing and giving presentations in the local area. One of her presentations focuses on child well-being and youth success; she teaches ninth graders about financial stability through a program called "Reality Check Day."
She credits her time at ENMU for preparing her to confidently approach to public speaking and develop a love for helping people through public relations. "I'm proud to be a Greyhound Grad and give back," shared Sarah.
"Even if I didn't work at United Way, I would want to volunteer and get involved with them to make a difference," she continued. "I really believe in the message it presents and how it fills the gaps for those in need, from providing clothes to getting food. It matters for people who don't know where to turn and get help.
"I appreciate that the ladies who work here are from all walks of life and give different perspectives, but have the same goal in mind: helping others."
To donate, volunteer or request assistance from UWENM, call 211. The Portales office is located at 108 S Avenue F.
Learn more about United Way's volunteer opportunities.