Women find new directions and meaning
As second acts go, Ann Buck’s has proven to be as rewarding as her first. Buck, a former music and women’s pastor in Tulsa, retired to Kerrville, but the change didn’t take. After a short break, she became executive director of the Christian Women’s Job Corps of Kerr County, beginning a second career aimed at helping women with precious few places to turn.
The organization provides job and life skills training. “These women are in need,” Buck says. “Not only financially, but spiritually, professionally and person-ally.”
Buck, who took over as executive director nine years ago, says 430 women have completed the organization’s
12-week semesters, which take place twice a year for 12 to 14 “interns” in each session. The curriculum includes business ethics and etiquette, character development, parenting skills, women’s health, interview skills, Bible study and healthy relationships.
Buck says one in three girls in the state of Texas has been molested by the age of 10. “So many times, they begin self-medicating,” she says. “They don’t seek counseling, and they end up with legal issues.”
Others come out of abusive relation-ships, Buck says, and some simply find themselves divorced and entering the workforce for the first time without marketable job skills. But regardless of their pasts, all the women who enter the program are treated the same. “We have licensed counselors on call,” Buck says. “And we teach a life skills class each semester.”
The program is open to women over the age of 18, so it has served teens as well as women in their 50s and 60s. “Sometimes, we have a mother who graduates, and then a daughter wants to go through the course. We can see what we call the ripple effect,” Buck says. “We want them to find out where they can succeed. We ask them, ‘What did you dream about doing when you were a little girl?’ We want them to find that again.”