The Center for Wisdom's Women

About The Center for Wisdom's Women

The Center functions as a grassroots collaborative of women who work together to break their isolation and build community toward the bettering and enriching of each others lives. The Center strives to support women in:
becoming aware of their inner resources,
pursuing life affirming relationships, and
developing their potential.
The Center accomplishes its mission by providing activities, programs and support groups, in and through community, by building partnerships with businesses, other agencies and service providers, and through advocacy on behalf of women.


Garden and Social Enterprise Coordinator

June 2017 - August 2017 Lewiston, ME
“The job was dynamic and involved a lot of problem-solving and independent work. I learned a lot about the lives of women in Lewiston”

Garden and Social Enterprise Coordinator

June 2018 - August 2018 Lewiston, ME
“This summer I had the privilege to lead the Herban Works Program at the Center for Wisdom’s Women in Lewiston. In this role, I worked alongside and guided underprivileged, often isolated, women from the community who were interested in growing herbs to process, package, and sell at the Lewiston Farmers Market. I gave them the confidence and the resources to be self-led, helped plan the garden, planted seeds, harvested produce, organized products, and managed sales. While the garden and small business defined our purpose and direction, the underlying goal was to provide spiritual and emotional support for the women who enter the program, many of whom have histories of substance abuse, of losing a child to state custody, of poor physical or mental health, or of broken relationships. My primary work, therefore, was to offer an inclusive, warm, welcoming environment for women in search of social connection and meaning. My position had a positive impact on the Lewiston community. The Center’s mission is to “offer women with adverse life experiences the opportunity to work, develop a range of skills and life-giving experiences, and generate income in a safe and dignified space.” All profits from sales at the Farmers Market are re-invested in Herban Works, as the program continues “to socially and financially support local women and share our knowledge of herbal healing with our community.” My work served marginalized women of all ages in Lewiston by providing a supportive, nurturing environment for them to build skills, relationships and confidence. Empowering these women as individuals, in turn, strengthened the whole community. The major challenge was be to ensure a sense of belongingness among all participants. Each woman needed to feel that she was contributing meaningfully to the small business, and it was challenging at first to identify the strengths of each participant and what she would be able to offer. In addition, it was difficult to hear some of the women’s heart-wrenching stories, and I had to respond in the most sensitive way I could in order to build trust and respect among us. A further challenge was to balance the demands of the small business enterprise with the emotional needs of the participants, two objectives that were, at times, in conflict. Guiding the Herban Works Program perfectly suited my academic, personal, and career interests. I have been heavily involved in the Lewiston community for the past three years at Bates through my work at the Lewiston Middle School, New Beginnings, the Public Library, Blake Street Towers, and the Montello Book Buddies Program. I care deeply about the community and feel it is my calling to serve it as it serves me. For me, it is not enough to take classes and get a degree. When I read the course listing every semester, I look for classes that have a community-engaged component, because without my active life in Lewiston, my studies would feel less meaningful. The time I have spent at all of these organizations has been the most meaningful part of my Bates experience and I enjoyed working over the summer with a different population of Lewiston residents. As a psychology major and education minor, the more contact I have with people, the more I know about the human mind, teaching, learning, what works and what doesn’t work - beyond the confines of theory. I thrive on the theories I learn in classes combined with the practical experiences in the field, enjoying how often they overlap and what to make of it when they don’t. My goals for the job were to establish strong relationships with the women in the program, help the site directors in any way needed, connect the organization with the tea shop I worked at for the past two summers, and perhaps introduce a new product for sale! I also had the goal of maintaining contact with these women into my senior year at Bates and look forward to seeing the explicit outcomes of my work extending beyond my time at Bates. Both of these goals have been met and I will always remember this incredibly rewarding summer I spent in Lewiston. ”
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