Local Program Supports Underprivileged Women

Renée Spivey and Tameka Edison Greathouse founded WOW in Huntsville in 2016. It is intended to enhance the lives of women within the Huntsville community who have been homeless, incarcerated or underprivileged. WOW is a nonprofit organization that ensures that women know their worth.

Both Spivey and Greathouse share a passion for helping women obtain a career and an education.

“We were sitting at Tameka’s house one day having a bible study, just talking about what our dreams were,” Spivey said. “I said ‘I’d like to start an organization to help women when they come out of prison, homelessness [or are] underprivileged in any type of way, or simply want to better themselves,’ and Tameka shared my passion for this idea.”

Spivey and Greathouse did not have an office space, so they worked out of their own homes to provide for the women in the community as soon as they were operational.

“We are the women that we look to service,” Greathouse said. “We know all too well what it’s like to be overlooked because of a lack of knowledge, education and skills. We want to create that bridge to fill in the gap for those women who are in the position where we once stood.”

WOW offers courses for essential life, personal and educational skills to the everyday woman looking to get to that next level in their lives. WOW now has a testing site available for those who want to earn their HiSET, which is equivalent to the GED. Any woman interested can complete a client intake form, and Spivey and Greathouse will then create an individual empowerment plan (IEP).

The IEP is a step-by-step plan that is specialized for each woman. After completing the courses, Spivey and Greathouse hope women will walk out with more independence and more confidence within themselves and their future.

“The services we offer are free— reading, writing and computer classes and counseling services on an as-needed basis,” Greathouse said. “We have programs that assist these women in getting their certifications. We are currently looking for donors to pay the state fee for the HiSET exam so that it can become free of charge for our clients in the near future.”

Currently, WOW has five clients but hopes to help up to 25 clients per year. Spivey and Greathouse make sure they do everything in their power to help women in the community gain more knowledge.

Spivey and Greathouse moved into their current office space in November 2018. WOW plans to have their own building where women and their children can be housed while the women gain the skills to join the workforce or begin their college education. WOW hopes to have a company car so that clients who need a ride to attend the courses or get to the testing site is no longer an issue.

“We’re trying to help [these women] break the cycle,” Spivey said. “We want them to have that GED and show their kids or their family and say ‘It doesn’t always have to be like this. You can be more than you think you can be.’ If we can get a woman to think outside of her normalcy and see that her dreams are not so far out of reach, she can change the thoughts of her kids, her family and the generations to come.”

WOW is looking for volunteers to proctor studying, practice tests, and help with community events. There are no requirements to volunteer, and their door is always open. If you are interested in the services they offer, visit their website at http://www.wearewomenofworth.org or their office at 1212 10th Street.

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