Grandma and Grandchild in Embrace
Teacher and Pupil
Giving a Speech
Checking Blood Pressure
Boy in Library
Business People Talking
Assisting the Elder
Our long history of providing assistance to the residents in the Mohawk Valley and surrounding region goes back many years. The Women’s Employment & Resource Center (WERC) began in 1989 as The Displaced Homemaker Program of Greater Utica, while the Peacemaker Program was incorporated as an independent 501(c)(3) in 1994. Over the years, the two agencies continued to grow. The Peacemaker Program’s services focused on families and individuals in the community who were facing conflicts without the tools to resolve them effectively. WERC’s services focused on women in the community who needed the skills, training, knowledge, and confidence to enter or re-enter the workforce.
Both agencies were dedicated to individual empowerment, serving clients attempting to navigate complex systems without the resources to achieve positive outcomes, and offering specialized services related to those offered by larger organizations but focused on a narrower mission. With that strong synergy in mind and the desire to make the most effective use of financial and human resources, the two agencies began discussions in 2016 to investigate potential partnering opportunities. The Community Foundation was an active partner in the discussions and recommended and helped secure the services of the New York State Council on Nonprofits (NYCON).
The result? On June 11, 2018, the Peacemaker Program and the Women’s Employment & Resource Center merged and officially became Empowered Pathways, Inc.
As we celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Peacemaker Program and the 30th anniversary of WERC this year, Empowered Pathways is a strong agency and continues to provide excellent services. Our highly trained, experienced and dedicated staff and volunteers continue to assist our clients through a wide variety and extensive range of programs. Our services are divided into four categories:
Our highly-trained and experienced staff and volunteers at Empowered Pathways offer a variety of mediation services to address issues related to youth, as well as restorative services using the highly successful Circles environment approach to opening and continuing effective communication paths.
Alternative Dispute Resolution
Mediation allows people an opportunity to speak and be heard, while a neutral manages the conversation. It helps improve communication, improve relationships, and solve problems. Our professional mediators are trained and certified in accordance with standards set by the New York State Unified Court System, and their services offer real and lasting solutions.
Surrogate Decision-Making Committee (SDMC)
The Surrogate Decision-Making Committee (SDMC) program is an alternative to the court system to consider non-emergency major medical treatment and end-of-life care decisions for certain individuals who are unable to provide informed consent and have no authorized, willing, and available surrogate to act on their behalf. A hearing panel convenes, comprised of at least three volunteers appointed by the Justice Center, who serve their home communities throughout New York State to protect the individual’s rights.
Women’s Employment & Resource Center (WERC)
The Women’s Employment & Resource Center provides job readiness services to women throughout the region. WERC provides specialized training programs and one-on-one personal assistance, including resume and cover letter preparation, job search assistance, computer skills training, as well as Microsoft Office applications, interviewing techniques, customer service training, and many more workshops that build confidence and strengthen skills. WERC is also the home of Suzanne’s Boutique, a professional clothing closet with interview outfits and clothing for that new job. We are proud of our record; 80% of our graduates are employed within 6 months of completing our training! And there’s no charge for any of our services!
For More Information about Empowered Pathways Services ...
To read more about the wide range of services available through Empowered Pathways, please visit the Our Services section on our website.
TAKE A VIRTUAL TOUR -
Watch our Open House Video
Take a look at our Virtual Open House video to learn more about our services, the impact our agency has had on individuals and families throughout our community, comments by our board members, staff and volunteers, and the Pathway To The Future campaign.
At Empowered Pathways we believe people can embrace who they are, can define their future, can make a plan to resolve their issues, and will move forward and succeed.
The mission of Empowered Pathways is to help people create self-directed solutions and move forward with their lives through education, advocacy, and empowerment.
Board of Directors
Karen Korotzer, President
Ann Rushlo, Vice President
John Eckmair, Treasurer
Kay Sinclair, Secretary
George Murad, Esq.
Meet Some of our Empowered Pathways Board Members...
Hear what some of our board members have to say about their
experience with Empowered Pathways.
Meet the Empowered Pathways Staff
Most of you already know Stephanie Eghigian, our Executive Director. She is well-known throughout our community for her tireless efforts to serve those in need. Her compassion and caring knows no bounds. In 2008, while her husband was being treated for colon cancer, Stephanie was diagnosed stage III ovarian cancer. She celebrates eleven years of remission. Through her experience with cancer, Stephanie learned the importance of physical endurance which inspired her to run the Boilermaker Road Race in 2011. When she’s not leading the charge at Empowered Pathways, Stephanie enjoys walks in the country, writing, and getting lost in a good book. She enjoys traveling and spending time visiting with her sons and grandchildren who live in South Carolina and Japan.
Meet Regina Brown, our Youth Services Specialist. She is well-known by her coworkers for her honesty, integrity, and strong moral compass which played a big part in her receiving the WERC Woman of Achievement Award in 2019. Regina is more than just passionate about defending those who can’t defend themselves, especially youth, and will always go out of her way to advocate for the disenfranchised. She is also a strong defender of the environment and animals. She and her dog, Ruby, love spending summertime together on nature walks and wintertime snuggling up with a good book.
Youth Services Specialist
Meet Dawn Laguerre, AmeriCorps Family & Youth Services Assistant. Dawn's long history of community service includes designing and implementing grass roots programs aimed at community improvement, educational advocacy and environmental justice. She volunteers with AARP and The Landmark Society, and serves as Vice President of the League of Women Voters, Utica-Rome Metro Chapter. Dawn is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, South Utica Block Association, and First Baptist Church. Before moving to Utica in 2007, she worked for the Office of the Brooklyn Borough President and programs in the Office of the Mayor in New York City. Dawn and her husband have one son. She loves attending sporting events, musical events and opera, and caring for her family's two beagles Flash and Logan.
AmeriCorps Family & Youth Services Assistant
Meet Lu Blanchard, Restorative Justice Coordinator and Community Services / ADR Connects Coordinator. Lu served as an AmeriCorps volunteer for one year before joining the agency as staff last month. She enjoys anything to do with the outdoors and belongs to the Tramp & Trail Club of Utica. She also enjoys traveling with her daughter and friends and loves reading and gardening as well as crosswords and sudoku. She and her cat, Rusty, call Utica their home, but she still has ties to the small town - Hadley, NY - in which she grew up, and regularly goes there to her "camp".
Restorative Justice Coordinator
Community Services / ADR Connects Coordinator
Meet Timothy Lyon, Restorative Justice Coordinator for Youth & Family Services. He comes to us with a background of a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice and a minor in Psychology. Tim brings a tremendous amount of technical, analytical, and problem-solving talent to the agency. He serves as an Alderman in his community and is a passionate advocate for mental health services. In his free time, he enjoys tabletop roleplaying games, progressive rock music, and outdoor activities like camping, swimming, and canoeing. He worked as a Boy Scout Camp Counselor as a teen, teaching woodcarving, emergency preparedness, and swimming. His cat, Newo, has enjoyed this time of working remotely and frequently sits in on Zoom staff meetings.
Restorative Justice Coordinator,
Youth & Family Services
Meet Rosemary LoGalbo, Empowered Pathways’ Office Manager of nine years. She’s one of the most generous people you could ever meet! She frequently shares her valuable “two cents” with staff and clients; she’s often the glue that holds our team together. Rosemary goes out of her way to meet the WERC clients and gets to know them during classes and workshops and support them in reaching for their goals. Before coming to EP, she spent 33 years as a member of the Rome Savings Bank team. In her free time, Rosemary is a New York Mets fan and enjoys meeting up with friends for a meal and live music. She’s very creative and produces amazingly unique and beautiful greeting cards by hand for friends and family.