Moms Hardest Hit

Nationwide, nearly 1 million mothers left the workforce in 2020.

In Colorado, 20,000+ moms left the workforce and women in the state labor force dropped to the lowest rate in 20 years.

Celebrating CWEE Moms

We were all deeply impacted by the pandemic. But the women that CWEE serves, moms – most of them Black and Latinx and all of them experiencing poverty – were among the hardest hit groups nationwide and here in Colorado.

Through it all, the remarkable career seekers that CWEE serves are still finding success – and drawing on deep wells of personal strength, resilience, and love for their children – to power them forward during this most challenging time.

It’s these moms’ stories that we want to share, in honor of Mother’s Day and in the spirit of hope that springtime represents.  

Your support of CWEE makes it possible for us to support more than 1,000 career seekers each year, most of them moms like the women you will meet below, whose diverse experiences are linked by stories of hardship and hard work.

From Addiction to Associate Degree


Jessica’s turnaround story is inspiring. At one point, she lost custody of her kids and became dangerously ill after years of heroin addiction. Today, Jessica is nine years sober, living happily with all of her children, and has leveraged the computer skills and certifications she earned at CWEE to complete her GED. She is currently working on her associate degree and is well on her way to starting her career.

“I am not a textbook learner; I learn differently. CWEE saw that and nurtured that in me.”

Read Jessica's Story

Strength & Resilience in the face of loss


Linda’s story is marked by the untimely loss of her own mom. They had worked side-by-side since Linda was 16 years old to support the family. After she died, Linda’s life became even harder. Yet at CWEE she found the acceptance, counseling, training and support she needed to complete her GED and start her career. How she is in training to become a dental assistant.

“After I graduated from CWEE and got my GED, it was a complete turnaround.”

Read Linda's Story
Extraordinary Moms: Yesenia

Discovering a passion for helping others


Natasha completed CWEE’s program in 2019, and CWEE helped her get hired by Volunteers of America (VOA). Natasha was promoted into a full-time position six months later, and last summer she got another promotion to Case Manager, a position she has long aspired to. Natasha sees no end to the opportunities within a large organization like VOA, and for the first time she has full benefits, including paid time off, retirement savings, and health insurance.

“CWEE gave me the confidence I needed to get up and go. When you’re ready for change, that’s when the changes start happening.”

Read Natasha's Story

Finding inspiration in our kids


Crystal has always been a mom – even long before she had her own kids. Crystal’s own mother struggled with addiction, and as the oldest of five children, Crystal helped raise her siblings. Now, she has her own children and in them, Crystal finds deeper motivation to work toward her goals. Crystal hopes to become an addiction counselor and work with other moms.

“I know that my hard work has been inspiring for my kids. What my kids don’t know is how much they have inspired me.”

Read Crystal's Story
Extraordinary Moms - Rosita