Positive Change
Empowerment happens when you give someone a chance - Inspiration from Women's Bean Project

“Empowerment happens when you give someone a chance.” —Tamra Ryan

Women’s Bean Project in Denver, Colorado, proves that empowerment happens when you give someone a chance. This human services organization tucked inside a business has been giving women who struggle against insurmountable barriers chances for empowerment since 1989.

Real Work. Real Food. Real Promise.

“Women blossom when they experience success in a safe and accepting environment,” says Tamra Ryan, CEO of Women’s Bean Project. Tamra goes on to explain that the organization’s focus on real work, food and promise is taught via workforce and personal development. Women typically come into the program facing multiple barriers against self-empowerment. These barriers include poverty, lack of job skills, felony records, substance abuse, violence, lack of housing and having no high school diploma or GED. Hired for a six to nine month stint into a real job manufacturing real food, (gourmet bean soups, baking mixes, seasonings, teas and coffee) the women spend 70% of their paid time working and 30% in an educational program working on the real promise pieces of skill building, problem solving and personal development. Tamra says success comes from “the power of believing in someone and believing that the past is past and it’s time to focus on the future.”

With empowerment comes transformation

“It’s so incredible to watch someone go from having no sense of self-efficacy, to believing that they are worthy of a better life,” says Tamra. She goes on to explain that empowerment can become a sort of self-sustaining loop. “You can’t give it [empowerment] to someone. It’s something that someone feels after they’ve been given a chance. Success begets more success and goal setting and attainment.”

Practicing a holistic view of success and failure stokes perseverance

“Not every woman is successful,” Tamra advises. “But everyone who is, becomes a reason to persevere. Knowing that the ripple effect of her success is going to reverberate throughout her family, community and beyond furthers perseverance. And while relapse is part of recovery, believing that every woman who comes in the door is the last one we have to serve is also a motivation to persevere.”

Leave your words of encouragement below for the Women's Bean Project so that we can share them with these women.

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Share your words of encouragement

Beverly D 1587398781

July 6, 2018 - 8:30pm

Keep on believing in yourself. God will provide a way even in the darkest of hours. Each time you take a chance and see that it works you are stronger. This will give you strength to risk again and succeed again. Even if you can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel, it is there. Keep on keeping on. You are more than you think. Lean on those who God has put in your life to help you on this journey. You can do what you are meant to do. Even though I do not know you personally, I admire you and will pray for you as you strive to succeed and be all you are meant to be. Remember this. In the winds of change we find our true direction

Louise C 642323261

July 6, 2018 - 3:48pm

My words of encouragement are: Love yourself. Even when it seems like nobody else will, if you love yourself that’s all that matters. But I can assure you that you are always loved, because God always loves you. God is love. Love, and be loved.

Louise C 642323261

July 6, 2018 - 3:42pm

I’m about to go off to college and something I want to work on is random acts of kindness. It’s so hard to think of such things out of the blue, so I’m open to any thoughts or ideas. It means the world to me when someone loves me enough to do that for me, and I’d love to be that someone for somebody else.

Jade C

July 6, 2018 - 12:31pm

Be gentle and kind to you. Love yourself because you’re more than worthy of real love and many love you too. Good luck you’re doing it!

Marina G

July 6, 2018 - 8:57am

Amazing work - you are an inspiration and blessing to all!

Barbara C 1780427259

June 20, 2018 - 5:32am

My best friend from high school & I text each other encouragement every day. One thing we remind each other is that every small positive action helps. The big picture can be overwhelming. But little things add up & move us forward. Be proud of what you are accomplishing & always gentle with yourselves & each other. All the best to you, with Love! (I will add that I am almost 70 & 39 grateful years without a drink!) ❤️

Smitha G

June 8, 2018 - 9:17pm

Proud of one and all to join hands and show your divine presence !

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