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Schaeuble ready to help others as leader of YWCA

By Lee Reinsch

GREEN BAY – The YWCA Greater Green Bay is more than just a place to work out.

It’s also a safe haven in which to find community and break down barriers.

New on the job, CEO Amy Schaeuble (pronounced shy-bull) said she’s eager to help women of all ages and colors live up to their potential.

“We want to make sure women are economically self-sufficient, that children and youth develop skills for successful lives, and (that) all people live with dignity in our community, free from violence, racism and discrimination,” said Schaeuble, less than a month into her new role.

Before taking on the YWCA, she spent 24 years with the YMCA, most recently as branch manager of the Ferguson Family center.

Many seeking help through the YWCA are in crisis, often from poverty or violence, she said.

At the YWCA, they can find reassurance, job training, confidence building and even clothing for job interviews.

The Women’s Empowerment Center focuses on job training and instilling confidence.

The Career Closet helps outfit women for job interviews and their first weeks on the job.

“We want them to be personally fulfilled and economically sufficient,” Schaeuble said. “If women are looking to be employed and go for a job interview and don’t have the means, they can come to the Career Closet and we outfit them with 10 pairs of pants and 10 shirts, jewelry and everything to get them started on what they are starting.”

The Madison Street Boutique inside the YWCA offers clothing at a low cost, however it and Career Closet have been closed due to the pandemic, as has the Runners Locker, which offers athletic wear.

Income disparity plays a role in preventing some women from trying to better themselves, Schaeuble said.

“They can come in and shop for low-cost or donations for items once they start to get themselves established,” she said. “We have worksite experience, financial training for women, and programs for young girls (that aim) to give them the confidence and ability whether in STEM or different things to empower girls.”

The YWCA of America has been around for 160 years, including over 100 years in Green Bay, established locally in 1919.

Civil rights and women’s rights have always been a robust part of the history of the organization.
“In each decade there are different needs in the community,” Schaeuble said. “Our focus right now is around racial justice work, equity and peace, and we’ve done community conversations on those topics in recent months.”

To that end, the YWCA has a number of programs that address, confront and propose solutions.

Its Stand Against Racism series uses community conversation to open up channels of discussion on race and gender.

The Where We Live series is a virtual town hall.

“We all learn about our own biases and how we approach issues and how we can strengthen and have an inclusive community,” Schaeble said.

The Outfitting Women for Success series provides free educational workshops and networking opportunities on topics ranging from budgeting to journaling.

YWomen Read is a quarterly book club with nearly 70 members.

In addition, the YWCA holds annual conferences on peace, implicit bias and radial justice.

To learn more, visit ywcagreenbay.org.

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