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Alexis: Finding the Tools to Learn

In June of 2023, Alexis learned about a life-changing opportunity—the New Choices Career Development Program offered by YWCA Lancaster. Little did she know that this no-cost course would pave the way for a transformative journey.

From day one, Alexis approached the program with determination, attending every session and successfully completing the intensive three-week course, but her success didn’t stop there. In a recent post-course follow-up, she shared news of her newfound position as a manager at a local retail store and her plans to further her education in digital marketing.

What makes Alexis’s story truly inspiring is the collaborative effort of various organizations that rallied behind her aspirations. Thanks to the support from New Choices, funding from the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), and the Listrak In A Pinch fund, Alexis found herself on a path to success with zero out-of-pocket expenses for the program.

“I have always had the goal to return to school and receive my Marketing degree or certification and because of help from Deb and the YWCA, I have a brand new resumé, a new job, and can attend schooling for Digital Marketing with a brand-new laptop! Thank you, New Choices Lancaster, for your support throughout this journey in my life.”

If you’ve ever contemplated starting your educational journey but found yourself in need of the right tools and support, know that you’re not alone. The New Choices Career Development Program at YWCA Lancaster is ready to assist individuals just like you. If you or someone you know is ready to pursue their dreams but lack the tools to do so, reach out to the YWCA Lancaster’s New Choices Career Development Program. By sharing this information within your network, you might be instrumental in helping someone else turn their aspirations into reality!

Let’s spread the word, share the opportunities, and collectively empower more dreams to take flight. Our next session begins this Tuesday, March 5th, at YWCA Lancaster. For more information and to sign-up today, visit YWCALancaster.org!


The In a Pinch Fund at the YWCA Lancaster has been made possible through a generous gift from Listrak, fulfilling a desire to give back to the communities where their employees live and work.

It is our desire that the fund will carry on its original vision, help women on their path to success, help combat racism, and write this region’s own success stories.



Ashley: Turning Dreams Into Reality

Ashley is a young wife and mother who was referred to New Choices by our partner, Patients R Waiting, through her doula Lydia, who also happens to be New Choices’ wonderfully awesome Program Assistant & Case Manager.


She started classes in September with a goal of becoming a nurse but was unsure how she was going to afford school and also concerned about the amount of time it would take. With the help of Deb and Lydia she developed a plan for her long-term goal and first on the list was to complete a short-term certificate program in the health care field. She was referred to Tec Centro’s Phlebotomy class. She started classes in October 23 and successfully passed her certification on 12/19. She immediately called Lydia and Deb to share her wonderful news and also shared that she got the highest score in her class.


Her future plans are to work for Penn State Health and work towards a nursing degree. She has also referred her husband to the New Choices program because they made the choice as a family to get her started on her career while he stayed at home with their one-year-old daughter.


If you’ve ever dreamed of changing careers, you’re certainly not alone. Thinking of making a change but aren’t sure where to begin, reach out to YWCA Lancaster’s New Choices Career Development Program. With New Choices, we can assist you in finding a new direction and help plan your next steps. Simply fill out the form below to receive more information!


New Choices Interest Form

Please let us know what's on your mind. Have a question for us? Ask away.

To contact them directly, please reach out to:
Deb St.Onge (she/her)
Director New Choices Career Development Program
Email: dstonge@ywcalancaster.org
T: 717.869.5006 C: 717.381.1392.
110 N. Lime Street
Lancaster, PA 17602

REVEAL: Check out this year’s Taste of Success teams!

Taste of Success is a one of a kind culinary showdown celebrating the incredible impact of the New Choices Career Development Program while featuring a delectable food competition with the industry’s future tastemakers from Lancaster County Career and Technology Center!

While our eyes and ears will be taking in inspiring stories of success from New Choices students and graduates, attendees tastebuds will be experiencing sweet and savory creations from six teams of students.

Meet the 2023 Taste of Success competitors:

Savory Teams

Gouda life: Brennan Lyon – Lititz Christian School, Kylee Shirk – Ephrata High School, Justin Arias – Hempfield High School

Big Blue Tonka: Jadyn Sumrall – Hempfield High School, Clark Wagstaff – Penn Manor High School, Ricko Brown – Penn Manor High School

Food Warriors: Violet Seymour, Pequea High School, Evan Ingold, Manheim Central High School, Christian Hess, Solanco High School

Sweet Teams

The Sweet Tarts: Arianys Rodriguez, Hempfield High School, Bradynn Radtke, Hempfield High School, Ellie Smith, Elizabethtown High School

Beach Babes: Jessica Sick, Manheim Central High School, Abigail Ingram, Penn Manor High School, Kailey Dale, Garden Spot High School

Cookies & Cream: Sierra Rowe, McCaskey High School, Ahnaija Heard, McCaskey High School, Azariah Cornish, Manheim Township High School

You can see (and taste!) these teams’ creations on March 24 as we gather together to uplift the incredible impact of the New Choices Career Development Program. Tickets are going fast, so make a reservation today for Taste of Success!

PA Secretary of Labor and Industry Berrier visits YWCA Lancaster

We were honored to host a visit from Jennifer Berrier, Secretary of PA Department of Labor & Industry to share about the life-changing work being done through the New Choices Career Development Program, as well as our exciting plans to renovate our historic location and expand our programming through YForward!
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On the visit we were joined by elected officials and other Lancaster community leaders, such as Senator Scott Martin, Rep. Mike Sturla, Danene Sorace, Mayor of Lancaster, and County Commissioner John Trescot. After brief introductions, the group joined us on a tour of the progress on YForward, our renovations which will add 16 new housing units to our Kepler Hall Residence Program, an ADA-accessible elevator, and a complete reimagining of our Sexual Assault Prevention and Counseling Center.

photo: Tim Struhldreher, One United Lancaster

After the tour, the group sat down for a roundtable discussion about workforce in Lancaster, as well as celebrating the work of YWCA Lancaster’s New Choices Career Development Program, which benefits individuals in transition by giving them skills and resources in job seeking, interviewing, and résumé writing. The discussion focused on the city, local, and statewide efforts to both create opportunities for indivuduals to find skills and employment, as well as the institutional barriers that many seeking gainful employment face to thriving.

“By empowering individuals with job search and interview skills, opportunities to build their confidence and support to achieve professional goals, New Choices programs are helping Pennsylvanians negotiating the labor market to find lasting employment that pays a family-sustaining wage and improves their overall quality of life,” Secretary Berrier said.

YWCA Lancaster is proud to be in community with leaders of all levels, perspectives, and approaches to meet emerging community needs, as we have since our founding in 1889. Our mission of eliminating racism and empowering women is more important than ever, and we are honored to work with so many across Lancaster City, County, and the state of Pennsylvania to make that work possible.

New and Continued Investment in YWCA Lancaster

At YWCA Lancaster, our mission of eliminating racism and empowering women is more vital than ever. We’re thankful to have an incredible community behind us–from organizations to corporations, individuals to elected officials from all parties– who want to join together to meet our mission!

We are proud to update our community on some important recent investments in our programming: these grants, donations, and contract renewals help us to continue to meet the needs Lancaster County, in all parts of the county, and in so many areas of residents’ lives. Whether it’s childcare, counseling, career development, parent empowerment, or community building, YWCA Lancaster is proud to join with you in promoting peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all.


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Trust in our community, trust from our community

With support from the Lancaster County government, as well as community partners both nonprofit and corporate, we’re proud to announce some recent new and continued investment in YWCA Lancaster:

Every contract with Lancaster County has been renewed for 2022-3, an investment totaling more than half a million dollars

YWCA Lancaster received funding from the Lancaster County Community Foundation to support the re-launch of the Black Artist Waystation, and the Touchstone Foundation for Sexual Assault Prevention and Counseling Center curricula

  • Black Artist Waystation was conceived to increase the visibility and support of Black Artists in the Lancaster community. Through the program, our aim is to be a catalyst for artists who create works that define the movement toward freedom and recognize the many efforts that brought us to this moment. Details about the 2022-3 program will be available soon!
  • We’re also partnering with the Touchstone Foundation to implement the Healthy Relationship Project: a researched-based, trauma-informed, and age-appropriate child sexual abuse prevention curriculum created by Prevent Child Abuse Vermont!

We were honored to receive investments from corporate partners, such as the Hershey Company, Truist, Erie Insurance, the PPL Foundation, and more!

Until Our Mission is Met

The mission of YWCA Lancaster has not changed since the 70’s and remains, to eliminate racism, empower women and promote peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all. We’re proud to partner with community members, elected officials, leaders, organizations, and businesses to help make that mission a reality.

Since 1889, since before women had the right to vote, since before the equal rights for Black Americans were codified, and through two global pandemics we have remained steadfast in our service to community. We have been in this community for more than 130 years, and continually adapt to meet community needs until our mission is met.

Join us!