The New Opportunity School for Women (NOSW) at Bluefield College is now accepting applications for its June 2-22, 2019 session. The program is designed to help participants confront their circumstances, overcome their conditions, and pave the way for a new and better life.
Appalachian women who have experienced difficult circumstances, but still have an eagerness to learn, improve their lives, and become more self-sufficient, are encouraged to apply for the three-week residential program. Most participants are between the ages of 30 and 55 and are motivated and haven’t had access to higher education. Often their circumstances have left them in poverty or some other financial or personal predicament.
During the three-week residential session, students will participate in creative writing, public speaking, interviewing, and Appalachian literature classes. Instructors will also teach basic accounting, computer and resume writing skills, and how to navigate the college application process. Internships provided by the local community give the women the opportunity to explore career paths. Cultural events, such as concerts and theatre productions are also a part of the program.
Included in the New Opportunity School for Women (NOSW) program is personal support in the form of career counseling, group reflection, makeovers, dress for success resources, and health screenings – all designed to create a sense of pride and self-worth.
There is no cost to the students attending this program and assistance with childcare costs and travel costs are available. Applicants should have or be working toward a GED or high school diploma, be of low-income and have an interest in a new career and/or higher education.
Jane B. Stephenson founded NOSW in 1987 at Berea College in Berea, Kentucky, out of an urgent need to help women in Appalachia become better educated and employed. The NOSW expanded to a second site at Lees-McCrae College in Banner Elk, North Carolina, in 2005, and in 2013 expanded to a third location at Bluefield College in Bluefield, Virginia.