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 the wide range of services available through Empowered Pathways, please visit the “Our Services” section on this website.
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
Kay Sinclair, President
Karen Korotzer, Vice President
Mollie Pulver, Treasurer
Karin Piseck, Secretary
George Murad, Esq.
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 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 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 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 eight 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.
The ambitious and energetic Larisa Nowicki has joined Empowered Pathways, not only as a college intern, but also as an AmeriCorps Member. She has only been with us a short time, but already she is a valuable part of our team. As a student at SUNY Morrisville, she is completing her final semester of studies in criminal justice, a natural fit for her AmeriCorps role in Youth Services at Empowered Pathways. She has a soft spot for animals, especially her dog Remy, and enjoys a myriad of outdoor activities. When she is not working or studying, she stretches her creative abilities with crafting and decorating, and loves spending time with family and friends. Welcome, Larisa. We hope you enjoy your time with us!
AmeriCorps Youth Services Assistant
Meet Kathy Peters, Employment Training and Outreach Coordinator for the Women’s Employment and Resource Center (WERC) program at Empowered Pathways. When Kathy’s not at work, she spends time creating faith-based lessons and activities for her Sunday School classes. Her creative, artistic side takes over in her free when she is drawing, painting, quilling, crafting, and writing. She and her husband also enjoy traveling to visit their 5 children and 11 grandchildren who are spread throughout the northeast and midwest.
Employment Training and Outreach Coordinator