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Survivors of trauma discover self-worth through mentor program

Posted at 8:30 AM, Oct 05, 2023

RIVERTON, Utah — In less than a month, more than a dozen women in Utah will complete an 11-month journey toward self-improvement, led by Riverton nonprofit Women of Worth Utah, Inc. (WoW).

Through mentorship and workshops called “worthshops”, the program empowers women, who have survived devastating life experiences, to build better lives for themselves.

“If you’re at that stage where you wake up and you say, ‘you know what I need to do something to learn again to love and trust myself,’ this is the right program,” explained Marie Jess, WoW Utah’s chief operating officer.

Bri Edge, 33, was resistant to getting involved in WoW Utah. From an early age, she battled thoughts of suicide.

From childhood into adulthood, she also endured many painful experiences including sexual abuse, domestic violence, and grieving the loss of loved ones.

Edge explained that her brother took his own life in 2017, and her father died from COVID-19 a few years after that.

"I think I kind of just accepted that bad things just happen to certain people, and that's just how things were,” she reflected.

“I had no voice, I looked at the ground when I walked…I was just so ashamed like I felt like my past defined who I was,” Edge said.

However, Edge chose to stand up to her reservations and try out the program. By day one, she realized the program was right for her.

“I will recommend this program to anybody because when I started WoW, I had no sense of belonging in this world. I didn’t feel like I had an identity,” she explained.

Now, Edge works as a certified nursing assistant at CommonSpirit Holy Cross Hospital in Salt Lake City.

“I show up and everybody knows me and it’s just because I like to get to know people," she said. "I like to talk to people, and I am not afraid to do it now.”

WoW Utah is now accepting applications for mentees and mentors now through November. You can apply here.

If you can’t commit to the year-long program as a mentor, anyone from the public can offer support to the nonprofit by attending its 12th anniversary gala and silent auction.