New Choices Professional Development Program

What is the New Choices program?

Founded in 1985 as a workforce development initiative, the New Choices program supports women in the Cape Fear area in taking steps toward financial independence and self-sufficiency. Participants include domestic violence survivors, recently divorced women and mothers, and single parents re-entering the workforce. The program assists participants with tuition and textbooks for two-year degrees, certificates, or career training programs, access to quality childcare, transportation assistance to and from work or school, life skills, professional development, financial literacy, and bridges the gap between community support services. The mission of the program is to eliminate the barriers that independent individuals/single-income homes face and to fill gaps in support, educational tools, professional guidance, and connection to key resources for these women to make a better life.

Who is eligible?

Any individual who:

a. Has been terminated or laid off, or who has received a notice of termination or layoff,
b. Is eligible for or has exhausted entitlement to unemployment compensation; or
c. Has been employed for a duration sufficient to demonstrate attachment to the workforce, but is not eligible for unemployment compensation; and
d. Is unlikely to return to a previous industry or occupation; or
e. Was self-employed but is unemployed as a result of general economic conditions


How does the program work?

Interested applicants must submit applications in person at the YWCA. Once the application has been reviewed, applicants will be interviewed to discuss qualifications and academic/career goals. Once in the program, participants must attend monthly counseling sessions, bi-monthly workshops, and must maintain the necessary GPA requirement to receive tuition assistance.  


What does the New Choices Program provide?

  • Direct Service: The New Choices program directs clients and program participants to resources in their local community that can assist them with hardships.
  • Tuition and Book Assistance Scholarship: provides tuition and book assistance to a 2-year degree, certification, and/or professional/vocational skills training programs
  • Childcare and Transportation Assistance: provides financial assistance to eligible families to help pay for the cost of childcare and transportation so they can work or attend education or training programs 
  • Financial Counseling: facilitates financial literacy workshops covering modules and systems provided by the Allstate Financial Empowerment Handbook
  • Career Counseling: provides comprehensive specialized assessment, individual employment planning, counseling, short-term pre-vocational skills, case management, and literary and career goal activities
  • Open Workshops: occupational skills training, professional development skills, personal and life skills training (not limited to program participants - open to any individual who RSVPs or reserves a spot)
  • Support Group:  a new element to the program; the New Choices support group meets on the last Tuesday of every month at 6:15 pm at the YWCA.  All participants are welcome and encouraged to attend.


How do I apply?

The New Choices program has specific qualifications for the program and specific deadlines that must be met. Applications can be submitted to the program manager Monday-Friday between 8:30 and 4:00pm. Schedule an appointment to begin the process with us today! 

Application Deadlines:
  • June 1st for Fall Semester open enrollment
  • September 1st for Spring Semester open enrollment


Who do I contact? 

For more information, please email us or call at 910.799.6820 ext. 114.