Faith Refuge Career Program Helping Women Find Jobs

Local News
Dozens of Texoma women are now working their first job and living in their first home thanks to a career program at Faith Refuge in Wichita Falls that started in August of 2013, and it’s 5th graduating class will get their diplomas in just a few weeks.

Current student Amanda Lopez says while the program helped her tremendously by teaching her the skills to land a job, she also cultivated relationships with her classmates, people she now calls family.

“It has changed my life a lot. It’s taught me how to budget, how to just have that little extra to where I’m not struggling,” Lopez says.

Lopez says that is only one way the career academy has transformed her life.

“The thing that I like about it is it’s all women and all of us women have been able to encourage one another and just use each others personal and professional experiences to help one another out,” Lopez says. 

These women she says are now more like family, like the career program director Lisa Wester.

“If a woman needs her G.E.D., we can provide that out here because we partner with Region 9. But most of the students who come through career academy already have their G.E.D., and we just work on basic job skills,” Wester says. 

The career academy was first launched in August of 2013.

Wester says of the 24 women who have graduated so far, 23 of them are still living on their own in the community and 14 of them are supporting themselves through a job they got after the academy.

“It’s very satisfying to be able to help women not only here at the shelter, but also in the community, get back to work,” Wester says.  

Wester wants women to know this program is not only for women who are staying at Faith Refuge, but it’s open to anyone in the community and it’s free.

“The women here we just encourage one another and we motivate one another to finish the program,” Lopez says. 

That’s something she says makes this program one-of-a-kind.

The career academy is a twelve-week program.

It’s Monday-Thursday from 8 a.m.-4 a.m.

There is still room for eight more women in this 12-week session that starts Monday, May 4th.

For more information email Lisa Wester at

If you are someone you know wants to join, click here.

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