The Center for Women in Transition was founded in 1990 by a group of local Charleston therapists as a counseling center. The ‘in Transition’ was added to the name because at that time in history, women were changing their roles in society. During the first few years at the Center, peer counseling was conducted by community professionals and trained group facilitators on a volunteer basis. The Center’s mission was, “Committed to helping women develop positively in their personal growth, productiveness and general well-being.” The Center offered individual and family counseling, support groups, skill-based groups, and enrichment/educational workshops. Additionally, the Center was a resource and referral information source for women.The founding mothers of the Center include Susan Parsons, and the first director, Beth Harrison.
In 1992, the Center for Women (C4W) became a 501(c)3 registered non-profit organization. Until 1996, the staff consisted of a director and volunteers. Then, a staff was created consisting of a Director(Patricia Goodwin), Publicity Coordinator and Volunteer Coordinator. Counseling was still C4W’s main priority during this time, but a Brown Bag Lunch Series was added. This series included presentations on Anger Management, Financial Planning, and Math for Life. In 1998, The Center moved from their downtown location, purchased a new house at 531 Savannah Highway and new director came on board, Linda Toporek. In 2001, the Center assisted over 2,000 women and more than 700 women attended our support groups!
The organization continued to grow, and in 2002 with the help of executive director Jennet Robinson Alterman, our main programs included Information/Referral, Support Groups and Peer Counseling. In 2007, The Center for women dedicated it’s new home at 129 Cannon Street to the memory of Countess Alicia Spaulding Paolozzi. A capital grant from the Spaulding Paolozzi Foundation made the move possible. With the growing success of C4W, our most popular programs were extended to Summerville and East Cooper in 2008. This expanded our efforts geographically in the state of South Carolina and Charleston community and included a new mission statement: ”Dedicated to empowering and enriching women in their private and public lives.” The Center’s goal is to see women in South Carolina connect for success! The Center has grown exponentially since it first began in 1990, and we’re excited to see how we will continue to grow in the coming years!
Thank you to all of our dedicated board chairs over the last 25 years!
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