Amazon chooses MCC, Tarleton, Tech as education partners for Career Choice program

Amazon’s Career Choice program has chosen McLennan Community College, Tarleton State University-Waco, and Texas Tech University as education partners for its Career Choice program, which provides Amazon’s hourly employees access to associate degrees, certifications, bachelor’s degrees, and master’s degrees.

Image from Amazon’s Career Choice website.

Career Choice is an education benefit that enables employees to learn new skills for career success. The program allows employees to advance their education through a variety of “upskilling opportunities,” including pre-paid college tuition and industry certifications for in-demand jobs, an MCC release said. It also promotes “foundational skills,” such as English proficiency, high school diplomas, and GEDs.

Amazon is investing $1.2 billion in the United States to “upskill more than 300,000 employees by 2025 to help move them into higher-paying, in-demand jobs,” the release said.

“McLennan Community College is pleased to partner with Amazon for the Amazon Career Choice program, which will provide educational opportunity for our local citizens,” said MCC President Johnette McKown. “We desire to be a catalyst for our community members to invest in a better life for their families and to support economic development.” The program is an example of the commitments by MCC, Tarleton, and Tech to “provide our community with an educated workforce. We look forward to our relationship with Amazon.”

Tarleton President James Hurley said: “We’re proud to partner with MCC to offer flexible academic programming for Amazon employees. Collaborations like this perfectly complement our 123-year commitment to educational opportunity and access for all students. Amazon employees will advance their careers, and North Central Texas will prosper.”

Brian Still, vice provost for e-learning and academic partnerships at Texas Tech, said: “Our partnerships with McLennan and in Waco are strong. It’s because of these strong partnerships that Texas Tech is joining this program in Waco. Amazon employees participating in the Career Choice program in the area can feel confident they are receiving a top-notch education.”

With about 8,000 students per semester, MCC offers more than 140 degrees, certificates, and occupational skills awards at an affordable cost with flexible class schedules on a 275-acre campus adjacent to Cameron Park and the Bosque River. Learn more at

In 2001, MCC established its University Center to offer MCC students opportunities to earn bachelor’s or master’s degrees on the MCC campus through distinguished partners like Tarleton and Texas Tech University. Students take their basic courses at MCC, transfer those credits to a University Center partner, and complete a fully-accredited bachelor’s degree that is no different from the degrees earned at the universities’ home campuses. MCC’s University Center makes earning an affordable bachelor’s degree more attainable without leaving McLennan County. Learn more at

Tarleton-Waco offers degree programs for working adults in a range of fields with classes in the evenings, daytime, weekends, and online. With more than 1,000 students in 30 undergraduate, graduate, and certificate programs, Tarleton-Waco offers degrees in fields like nursing, criminal justice, social work, education, business, computer information systems, and more. Learn more at

In Waco, Texas Tech offers a “student-centered atmosphere of a smaller college with the academic resources of a Carnegie ‘very high research activity university.” Texas Tech, a Hispanic Serving Institution, serves more than 200 students with 16 majors and 27 minors offered for undergraduate, graduate, and certificate programs on the MCC campus. Among other degree offerings, Texas Tech’s Waco site offers programs in high-demand fields such as communication studies, digital media and professional communication, sociology, biology, human sciences, education and public administration. Learn more at

Amazon’s Career Choice program has a selection process for third-party partner educators, choosing partners that are focused on helping employees through their education programs, assisting them with job placements, and overall offering education that leads to career success.

“We’re looking forward to MCC, Tarleton State University-Waco, and Texas Tech University coming on board as an education partner for Career Choice,” said Tammy Thieman, global program lead of the Amazon program. Hundreds of “best-in-class offerings available to our employees.”

“We’re committed to empowering our employees by providing them access to the education and training they need to grow their careers, whether that’s with us or elsewhere,” Thiamin said. “We have intentionally created a partner network of third-party educators and employers committed to providing excellent education, job placement resources, and continuous improvements to the experience. Today, over 80,000 Amazon employees around the world have participated in Career Choice and we’ve seen first-hand how it can transform their lives.”

For more information on Amazon’s Career Choice, visit:

Triple Win campus development prioritizes community engagement

By Lilly Price

Walking around the grounds at 1129 Webster Ave., you get the sense it is a space with deep history. The five-acre property, owned by Brazos River Capital, was once home to Khoury Inc., a family cabinet company that operated for nearly seven decades. 

The food entrepreneurship summer students sell their products on the Triple Win Food Truck.

Now, it’s the location of a new joint venture operated by Triple Win Waco, an informal out-of-school-time work-based learning program that combines students and businesses for everything from manufacturing to running a food truck. 

Originally, Triple Win used a workshop on Franklin Avenue and facilities at Connally Career Tech for its pilot programs, but it eventually found the space at Webster in 2020. Waco Pedal Tours, Triple Win, and Brazos River Capital agreed upon a three-year lease giving Triple Win the time to invest in research and development of their program with facilities large enough to host their vision. Founders Clay Springer and Cory Dickman chose the property because of its location near downtown and the geographic proximity to many of the students that Triple Win serves. 

The group has grand plans for a STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) campus. At present it houses a workshop and offices for local businesses, but eventually it will host a commissary kitchen, artist co-studio, maker’s market, food truck park, general store, student center, and co-working space. 

Triple Win Waco and Rapoport Academy Public School are making a three-year commitment of almost $1 million dollars in seed funds, personnel funds, and equipment to execute Project Launch. The campus will direct and enrich work-based learning and thought leadership in STEM education and entrepreneurship to have a lasting impact on the Greater Waco community. The Webster campus will help serve as an incubator for student businesses, giving them access to resources and start-up funds with a path to profitability.

Triple Win starts at the individual level, connecting the interests of each student who enters the program. More broadly, the team behind Triple Win hopes the Webster campus will be a resource for all of Waco by leading the charge on STEM education in our city. 

By advocating for each stakeholder involved in Triple Win — students, education, and businesses– the program works to cultivate the creativity and love of learning that every person has when they walk through the front doors.

Mechatronics students take a break after working hard in the shop.

The fully renovated campus is set to unveil in February 2022 and will feature an expansion of Maker’s Edge Makerspace in partnership with Rogue Capital Investments. There’s something so appropriate about a building with a rich history of manufacturing and woodworking being transferred to students who are getting their start learning the ropes of fabrication and entrepreneurship. 

In a way, it affirms the ongoing importance of work in STEM fields and the way industrial sectors will continue to benefit the local community. The Triple Win campus lies in the heart of South Waco, neighbored by spots like Jesse’s Tortilla Factory, Cotton Palace Park, and the Talitha Koum Institute. 

Sustainable and equitable city growth means innovation that is led by people who live and work in the neighborhoods being developed, and Triple Win has made it a priority to partner with local businesses and organizations to see growth that reflects the culture of the city.

Beyond the practical significance of the Webster campus, the leaders of Triple Win hope the renovated property will become a community resource ideologically, as well as a place where people can work together and find a sense of belonging. 

The Webster campus is represented by Hector Sabido, city councilman for District 2- which includes South Waco, Baylor, and downtown. “An educational resource like Triple Win would be transformative,” Sabido said. “Having a workspace that allows people to prepare for their future ideas and how they can implement those ideas and including the educational component and mentorship, that is something I want to see more of in my district … for people to be able to live out a dream they have.” 

Instructor Thomas Ellis lifts the ax trailer frame in order to place jacks underneath.

Central to Triple Win’s vision and values is the Waco community. By connecting families, students, businesses and educators, Triple Win seeks first to foster economic prosperity and continuing education for all. The renovation of the Webster campus is representative of that goal, which has motivated the work done at Triple Win since its inception in 2018. 

For people like Rachel Pate, who was raised in the South Waco neighborhood and serves as vice president of economic development for Cen-Tex African American Chamber of Commerce, the work Triple Win is doing in the community is significant. “The Triple Win space brings new opportunities into an underserved community … better training means better opportunities and a better quality of life,” Pate said. 

For students, the Webster campus represents a safe place, instructors who know their names and stories, friends who share their interests, and confidence gained from having the tools they need to build something new. 

By working in a collaborative environment with facilities that are flexible to individual student interests, the Webster campus aims to foster innovation and a passion for exploration. To keep up to date with Triple Win’s renovation journey, visit

Lilly Price is a Baylor University alum and the Public Relations Coordinator for Triple Win Waco. 

The Act Locally Waco blog publishes posts with a connection to these aspirations for Waco. If you are interested in writing for the Act Locally Waco Blog, please email Ferrell Foster at [email protected].

Waco-born business sticks, with help from students

By Cory Dickman

I met Thomas Ellis at church back in the Fall of 2006. I was a freshman at Baylor and had no idea that 13 years later, we were going to start Waco Axe Co., the city’s first axe-throwing venue. Thomas and I, along with fellow partners Cody Beeler and Jared Dauenhauer, embarked on this journey of entrepreneurship and axe throwing.

Students from the Triple Win training program construct an axe-throwing trailer for Waco Axe Co.

We leased a space on Washington Avenue and began the buildout of our venue, but when construction was taking longer than expected, we came up with an idea to build a mobile axe-throwing trailer. This would allow us to run events and tailgates, expand marketing, and most importantly, keep us busy during construction.

We approached Clay Springer and Triple Win Waco, a work-based learning apprenticeship program, about partnering with students to construct the trailer. The students would get paid for the hours they put in while earning valuable certifications along the way. Triple Win recruited students from Rapoport Academy and Connally Career Tech to join the project and after a build time of just three months, Waco’s first axe throwing-venue now had Waco’s first and only axe-throwing trailer.

The mobile axe trailer turned out to be a major success. We broke even on the project after four months of operation and just in time for our venue to open up on Feb. 14, 2020. Over the next 27 days, we experienced a lot of traffic from both local Wacoans and our tourist population. Then on the 28th day, the axes had to be put away as the Covid-19 pandemic began ramping up. For us, much like everyone else, the rest of 2020 was a blur. From a business perspective, we all lost employees, revenue, and a sense of time. 

It wasn’t until Christmas break of 2020 that sales began to increase as people became more comfortable going out in public again. We were feeling (axe)cited and ready to hit (the mark) in 2021. One of our regulars, Gib Reynolds from Startup Waco, approached us regarding the Kiva program. Kiva is a nonprofit designed to help crowd source funding for entrepreneurs and allow the community to invest in businesses.

We applied for the program and were accepted up to $15,000. We decided to use those funds to build not one but two more axe trailers following the notable performance of the initial trailer. Because the experience working with Triple Win students was so positive and their team developed expertise on our product, we partnered with the organization again to complete our additional trailers. Triple Win had a new design in mind that would allow us to accommodate more people by having eight axe targets per trailer. The design was creative, innovative, and bigger (much bigger) than the first trailer. 

Triple Win was awarded a Summer Career and Technical Education Grant, $30,000 of which was designated to Waco Axe as a project of value. Triple Win recruited an amazing team of students from Rapoport Academy including Azel Rodriguez, Mikayla Lee, Haven Roanke, Harris Cook, Devin Weaver, Caden Sullivan, and Rafi Pena. These students earned their OSHA 30 certifications and gained invaluable experience in welding, metalworking, computer-aided design (CAD), and soft skills like communicating with their employer. Not only do the students get to put together a cool project with their friends, they also see how their hard work directly impacts a local small business. 

The basic goal of axe throwing is to get the axe to stick on the bullseye, but when you’re just learning, it can be the hardest skill to complete. There’s failure at first, but with hard work and determination, the axe will stick and the sense of accomplishment is unmatched. Taking an idea and creating a product from the ground up can feel like trying to get that axe to stick. But when we as a business partner with ambitious students who are eager to learn, we try, fail, and eventually get it right — together. Combine local students and a company that loves to serve the community and you get a Waco-born business that sticks. 

Cory Dickman is owner/founder of Rogue Capital, a company that invests in and supports entrepreneurs in their business ventures. He has founded or co-founded several businesses, including Rogue Media Network, Nexus E-sports, Waco Pedal Tours, Waco Escape Rooms, and Waco Axe. An Oregon Native, Cory originally moved to Waco to go to Baylor University. He moved back in 2015 to start the Waco Escape Rooms. Cory also serves on the Board of Act Locally Waco.

The Act Locally Waco blog publishes posts with a connection to these aspirations for Waco. If you are interested in writing for the Act Locally Waco Blog, please email Ferrell Foster at [email protected].

Christian Men’s Job Corp class begins Aug. 30; meals needed

By Dan Worley

Christian Men’s Job Corps Waco will begin its next class at 6 p.m. Monday, Aug. 30, at The Hanger, 417 S. 17th St., Waco.

This will be our 35th class and like always, we need help. Following the format we used in the spring, we will meet two times a week (Mondays and Thursdays 6-9 p.m.). We will need meals for about 14 men per night. The CareCalendar we use for meal signups will be posted Wednesday, Aug. 11.

We call our mentors Champions, and they are welcome and needed every night you can possibly come. Built into every lesson is a time for Champions to interact with the men. I believe those of you who participated in the spring class will attest this worked well and gave you an opportunity to really get to know the guys.

Due to increases in COVID-19 cases in our area, we will once again ask everyone — participants, instructors, Champions, guests, and all to wear masks, keep an appropriate distance, and sanitize everything. We have masks, cleaning solutions, and hand sanitizer. This worked pretty well last class, and there is no reason it shouldn’t this time, too.

You can use to let men know the class is about to begin. One of the things about having class at The Hanger is that we attract men from outside of the shelters, which is something we like to see. So chances are someone in your family, your circle of friends, your church or those you work with knows a man who will benefit greatly by what we have to offer. Please share this with them. Invite them. Better yet, bring them. We will take any man 18 or older who wants to come to class and learn.

You may be asking, “Does this really work? Does anyone make a positive change because of CMJC?” The answer is, “Yes!” Three quick stories illustrate this. First, a few of our Board members were at a local business recently and the individual waiting on them was the daughter of a former graduate. Although he has since passed away, the daughter told these Board members that after graduation, the thing he was most proud of was completing this class. And the relationship the man had with his family was restored by putting to practice what he had learned.

Both the second and third “successes” happened in the midst of the pandemic when we were doing small, one-on-one sessions with two men. Neither of these men had held jobs in at least two years. Since going through CMJC, both are now employed, with good jobs that have benefits and a future. One has gotten married. Both men have done a 180 from where their lives were.

God can and will do a great thing in the lives of men who participate in CMJC Waco. Will you join Him in the work?

As always, if you have questions or concerns, call, text, or email me.

Dan Worley is executive director of Christian Men’s Job Corps Waco.

The Act Locally Waco blog publishes posts with a connection to these aspirations for Waco. If you are interested in writing for the Act Locally Waco Blog, please email Ferrell Foster at [email protected].

Construction & hospitality job training courses set for summer

By Tiffany Gallegos Whitley

June has been a busy month recruiting for UpSkill Waco summer training. I’m excited to have Heaven Lee, our new UpSkill Waco coordinator, onboard the team to help with training coordination and recruitment. 

We are actively seeking participants for the next “Construction Core” training with Texas State Technical College July 12 and a new “Hospitality Fundamentals” course with McLennan Community College July 19. In addition to these courses, a healthcare training course is in the works for early August. 

The summer classes will be during the day, with evening courses planned for late summer/early fall. 

We are working to build a variety of scheduling options and rotating training locations around neighborhood locations to ensure we are fulfilling UpSkill Waco’s purpose of providing flexible and accessible workforce training around the county. 

Scholarships are still available for individuals who cannot afford training costs. The applications for training and scholarships can be found on UpSkill Waco’s website at We are looking for 12 students for Construction Core and 16 for Hospitality Fundamentals, so please help us get the word out! Please reach out to [email protected] with any questions. 

Tiffany Gallegos Whitley is director of workforce initiatives for Prosper Waco.

The Act Locally Waco blog publishes posts with a connection to these aspirations for Waco. If you are interested in writing for the Act Locally Waco Blog, please email Ferrell Foster at [email protected].

Waco’s economic future hinges on post-high school education, training

By Hermann Pereira

I have spent the past 15 years in public education, and I never really realized how much our economic future hinges upon post-high school enrollment and completion rates. But when you break it down you realize that how well we prepare our students today directly impacts the economics of our community. 

We must focus on getting students to and through post-secondary education and into our local workforce. A recent data set that I received from an education-focused organization named Commit shows the unemployment and two-year institution enrollment for the past 20 years. It is amazing to see the rates run parallel up until 2019 when those two lines invert. Many factors have caused this, but what we know is that the pandemic will only accentuate these trends. 

This data is not meant to scare anyone but to show that this is an issue we need to embrace. We, as a community, must find new and innovative ways to partner with our higher education institutions. Getting students to and through higher education will lead us to more robust workforce pipelines in our community. 

At the state level there is legislation that is attempting to support these efforts. SB2111 and HB 2030 are companion bills that are focused on creating regional talent pipelines. This will give incentives to local partnerships and institutions of higher education that would support students to and through higher education and into the workforce. HB 2030 has passed the house, but we are waiting for SB 2111 to receive a hearing. 

Waco Foundation and Prosper Waco have embarked on a journey to complete a landscape analysis of college access and success in McLennan County. This quantitative and qualitative data analysis will provide a picture of the current state of the local support system for college access and success. Our goals are to:

  • Identify strengths, challenges, and areas for strategic improvement of the local support   system for college access and success;
  • Identify which service areas are strong and where there are gaps; and
  • Bring together community stakeholders to collaboratively address systemic issues.

Prosper Waco is committed to the success of all students in McLennan County. If you have any questions or want to discuss education in our community please reach out to me at [email protected].

Hermann Pereira is chief program officer for Prosper Waco and leads the nonprofit’s efforts in education and workforce development.

The Act Locally Waco blog publishes posts with a connection to these aspirations for Waco. If you are interested in writing for the Act Locally Waco Blog, please email Ferrell Foster at [email protected].

It’s important to not become fatigued about opportunity gaps

By Hermann Pereira

Everyone is feeling the fatigue of all that we have been through this past year. In our fatigue, it is easy to overlook things, but I want to bring something to our attention as a community that is important for us not to get fatigued about. 

Every student graduating from high school deserves an opportunity to move on to their post-secondary plans of choice. In our community we have great higher education choices and growing industries that our students should have access to, but the data says otherwise. 

I would like to bring your attention to just the enrollment data, which shows the rate at which high school students enroll in higher education. The numbers from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center are staggering. It compares the data from the class of 2019 and the class of 2020, remember the class of 2020 is the one that graduated in the midst of the pandemic. 

Overall enrollment in higher education High Poverty Schools Low Poverty Schools
Class of 2019-1.5%-1.6%-1.4%
Class of 2020-6.8%-11.4% -2.9%

In Greater Waco, we have six larger school districts which total 35,000+ students. Three of the six districts are in that higher poverty range, and they have more than 20,000 students. This growing gap in higher education enrollment is a major opportunity gap, and it is only getting bigger. 

There are existing efforts that are looking to address this growing opportunity gap. I want to highlight two upcoming existing efforts:

  • The McLennan County College Access Network is hosting a Drive Thru Event 10 a.m.-2 p.m. April 24. The event will be for all high school seniors and their parents to get help with financial aid, college admissions, and enrollment. The event will be held at Communities in Schools, 1001 Washington Ave.. 
  • Prosper Waco and Waco Foundation will begin a comprehensive study on the college and career continuum in McLennan County. We hope to capture who is providing what services to which students and to what affect in our county. At the conclusion of the study we will share results openly with the community. 

Prosper Waco is committed to ensuring all students in McLennan County have equitable access to college and career resources. If you have any questions or want to discuss education in our community please reach out to me at [email protected].

Hermann Pereira is chief program officer of Prosper Waco.

UpSkill Waco to offer first training course – Industrial Maintenance Technician

By Tiffany Gallegos Whitley

Last year was challenging and heartbreaking for so many of us. One of the bright spots in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic was seeing the various ways our community worked together.

I’m particularly thankful for the willingness of our higher education, nonprofit, chamber, and city government partners to come together and strategize how to adapt workforce training in light of our higher unemployment rate due to COVID.

After a few months of consultation and planning to structure the UpSkill Waco initiative, we are finally ready to announce the first training course will be Industrial Maintenance Technician. This is a versatile occupation that offers various pathways to family-sustaining wages. There are a number of jobs for individuals with industrial maintenance skillsets in our community, and I look forward to working with some of our business partners to connect trainees to open positions. The course will be six weeks starting the week of March 15. The time and location are not yet finalized but will be included on the online application, which will be available starting Jan. 15.

I’m thankful and excited to see the first UpSkill Waco training come to fruition. I have to give a big shout out to Texas State Technical College, McLennan Community College, and Heart of Texas Goodwill for working alongside me to coordinate and bring these training courses to neighborhoods in our city.

Anyone interested in being on the email list to receive UpSkill Waco training updates and applications can email me at [email protected].

Tiffany Gallegos Whitley is director of workforce initiatives for Prosper Waco.

The Act Locally Waco blog publishes posts with a connection to these aspirations for Waco. If you are interested in writing for the Act Locally Waco Blog, please email Ferrell Foster at [email protected].

New workforce initiative launched at Prosper Waco; Gallegos Whitley leading

By Ferrell Foster

WACO — Prosper Waco has begun an effort called UpSkill Waco to promote coordination of workforce initiatives in Greater Waco and to provide scholarship funding for residents, particularly those impacted by COVID-19, to gain needed training or re-skilling for high-demand occupations.

Cooper Foundation is funding the effort, which will be led by Tiffany Gallegos Whitley, Prosper Waco’s new director of workforce initiatives. She will continue in her role as chair of Waco Employer Resource Network (WERN), a working group of higher education, community organizations, and employers involved in workforce development and employee retention.

Tiffany Gallegos Whitley

The goal of UpSkill Waco is to train local residents to improve their work skills in a manner that matches local job needs and to do so using a cost-effective model. 

“Working toward this goal takes coordination,” said Hermann Pereira, Prosper Waco’s senior education and workforce specialist. “Prosper Waco has met with City Council members, existing leaders of businesses in five sectors, the three Chambers of Commerce, instructors from MCC & TSTC training programs in five areas, Goodwill industries, City of Waco services and local organizers with roots in neighborhoods. Prosper Waco has gotten commitment from these entities to create an aligned system of services to provide workforce training at a reasonable cost for Waco.” 

Gallegos Whitley said the initiative is particularly focused on persons about age 18-24 who have a high school diploma but no post-high school education or training. Unemployment rates are highest among this group, she said. 

“My role was created to coordinate multiple stakeholders across the city and county to move the needle on workforce initiatives,” said Gallegos Whitley. The effort will focus on increasing the capacity of current workforce training, filling gaps in training, and providing equitable career paths to help people move into family-sustaining careers.

Prosper Waco CEO Suzii Paynter March said: “Successful workforce initiatives are based on education, training, and relevance to industry needs. Tiffany and Hermann are a talented staff team combining strengths in education and workforce success. Waco will benefit from the teamwork.”

Cooper Foundation Executive Director Felicia Goodman said: “Cooper Foundation is committed to making Waco a better and more desirable community in which to live. An important part of any healthy community is having job opportunities and trained persons to serve in those jobs. This workforce initiative will help both the people and businesses of Waco.”

The project is yet another outgrowth of the 2014 Upjohn economic development plan presented to the city. “We are building off of the Upjohn report and going beyond,” said Gallegos Whitley. “We are staying current with new data.”

“Upjohn has influenced all that we have done with workforce development in recent years, giving us a north star to guide our efforts,” Pereira said. “In this newest stage we are investing in the goals of other organizations involved in the effort.”

Gallegos Whitley has called Waco home for the past 12 years. She is a two-time Baylor University graduate, receiving a bachelor’s degree in international studies and a Master of Social Work degree. Between undergraduate studies and graduate school, Gallegos Whitley worked with the Texas Hunger Initiative, helping communities organize around food security issues. She became passionate about community development and decided to root herself in Waco.

Prior to joining Prosper Waco, Gallegos Whitley worked 5½ years with Heart of Texas Goodwill Industries, where she oversaw building strategic community and business partnerships to further Goodwill’s job training and education programs. During her time at Goodwill, she also helped implement the Waco Employer Resource Network, a national model of skills training and job retention for incumbent workers.

In her role with Prosper Waco, Gallegos Whitley will oversee workforce projects that bring together key stakeholders to collaborate and continue building equitable training and career pathways for all McLennan County residents.

Ferrell Foster is senior content specialist for care and communication with Prosper Waco.

CWJC: Nurturing Women, Transforming Lives in Waco

By Anna Hoffman

I first heard about Christian Women’s Job Corps (CWJC) Waco 5 years ago when I joined “Women of Waco” for business networking. We often talked about the needs of CWJC and we regularly gathered items for the students. One WOW meeting 3 years ago the director told the group that they had a need for a volunteer to teach night class Bible Study. I had already wanted to be more involved and here was my chance. 

Here it is 3 years later, and it is clear that CWJC, the students and the leaders have had more of an impact on me than I have had on them. 

The reason I volunteer is to be a part of something that encourages and equips women. My goal with the Bible Study is to do these same things by reminding the students of two things that encompass a great amount of truth: 1) That there is hope for their future. 2) That God deeply loves them. I want to be involved with an organization that is doing this very thing. At various times in all of our lives, we need to be reminded of these two things. In a Bible Study or through a devotional reading this can be simply done. One of my favorite things to do is to remind others that God loves them and that He is for them. Not because of something we did or didn’t do, but because of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

This is what motivates me to be dedicated to the ladies of CWJC and to their mission to “Nurture Women & Transform Lives.” This is what motivates me to give of my time, resources, and money. The Baskets of Hope fundraiser is designed to give us ALL the opportunity to remind others there is hope for the future and that God seriously loves them. Accomplishing this mission day in and day out comes at a cost. 

If we all come together, teachers, mentors, staff, volunteers, donors, and students for this all-encompassing mission of “Nurturing Women, Transforming Lives” the impact will be immeasurable. We will have ladies who are educated with their GED and have the tools to find a good job. But more importantly these same ladies will know they have a community of people who support them and a Savior who loves them. Then they can pass that on.… Hope for the future!

Supporting CWJC Waco brings transformation and hope to women across McLennan County. Join our mission by exploring ways to give at or contact us at 254-757-0416 for more information.

Anna Hoffman has served for several years as a community leader and community relations director advocating for the care of the sick and elderly. She is the Community Relations Director for Visiting Angels where she has the privilege of serving local healthcare professionals and seniors. Because of her years of being the wife of a wonderful husband, the mother of two amazing kids, a grandmother, a pastor’s wife, and music director, she brings with her a compassionate heart to help connect her clients to the right services for their needs. Anna is actively involved in various community organizations – serving on the board of the Greater Hewitt Chamber of Commerce, chairing events for the Alzheimer’s Association, serving as the President of the Women of Waco, and teaching weekly Bible study at CWJC Waco.

The Act Locally Waco blog publishes posts with a connection to these aspirations for Waco. If you are interested in writing for the Act Locally Waco Blog, please email [email protected] for more information.