Bernice Ratliff and Mary Eskridge of Duck Hill have traveled to Grenada for the past two months learning new computer skills, financial management and Biblical inspiration and as a result they were awarded diplomas from the Christian Women’s Job Corps.
“I’m a mother of four that’s been married for 46 years and all I was doing was sitting around at home,” Ratliff said. “I can now tell you a little something about computers and that’s something I never thought I would do.”
For Jenice Crump, Eskridge and Ratliff their eight-week journey began at the Christian Women’s Job Corps’ facility on South Line Street on the All Saints Episcopal Church property.
Crump, who learned about CWJC through her sister, said not only did she learn about computers, but also she has started compiling resumes and gained a lot of knowledge through Bible study.
“Those Bible classes were very important,” Crump said. “I learned about those road blocks in life and how they only make you stronger.”
Longtime CWJC site coordinator Irene Floyd said this year’s fall program was dedicated to Glennis Patton, who died last summer. Patton had volunteered with the corps for years and always looked for students willing to participate in the program.
“Glennis was our community liaison and we really miss her around here,” Floyd said.
At the Grenada site, the Christian Women’s Job Corps works to empower women to reach their potential through employment training, life-skills and mentoring in a faith-based environment.
The CWJC provides free, scripturally based job training for women of all religious beliefs and situations.
The eight-week sessions offer women from Grenada and surrounding counties training in computer skills, resume writing, communications, interview preparation, money management, conflict resolution, family relationships and health and nutrition, as well as non-denominational Bible study.
At the end of the program, Chuck Provine gave the three graduates a word of encouragement and reminded them of a story he’d heard of a little girl that aspired to be a lumber jack.
“This little girl had been told all of her life that she couldn’t be a lumberjack,” Provine said. “When she got old enough she went to the Pacific Northwest to carry out her dream and there she met the manager of a tree company and told him what she wanted to do.”
In Provine’s story he said the girl told the manager to get his best lumberjack and to bring her an ax and she would cut down a tree in half his time.
“He agreed and the girl cut the tree down three times as fast as the best man,” Provine said. “The manager was amazed and he asked the girl where she learned to do that. She told him The Sahara Desert.”
In Provine’s story he said the manager questioned the girl and reminded her that the Sahara was a desert.
“She asked him, ‘How do you think it got that way?”’ Provine said.
Provine reminded the women of the empowerment of CWJC and said through mistakes, mishaps and even some failures they are only building blocks.