Kathy Barr has been a weekly volunteer with the New Opportunity School for Women for three years. Before retiring from her position as external affairs coordinator for the College of Business and Technology at Eastern Kentucky University, Kathy explored various volunteer options, looking for a place that would value her expertise. The New Opportunity School for Women is lucky to be the place she landed!
Kathy first heard of NOSW many years ago when a friend’s niece attended the NOSW residential program, and she had kept NOSW in mind ever since. When her friend, Sister Robbie Pentecost, became executive director of NOSW in 2017, Kathy told her she’d be happy to devote some time to the organization once she was free from her work responsibilities. Robbie and Kathy had worked together years before at AMERC (the Appalachian Ministries Educational Resource Center).
Robbie remembered that offer! So, shortly after Kathy’s retirement, Robbie rolled her right into a volunteer position at NOSW. After a career where she had lots of responsibility and a high level of stress, she was eager to use her organizational skills in a less stressful environment to support others in a mission she believed in.
Kathy’s volunteer duties focus on administrative assistance of all types, from organizing files to formatting organizational policies and procedures. “She is a jack of all trades,” says Robbie, “and master of many!”
Program Coordinator Jennifer Walden is especially grateful for her help in keeping staff organized and better able to serve those seeking NOSW support. “Our team is made better by her presence and all her experience,” says Jennifer.
Kathy says her work at NOSW is very rewarding. She sees her weekly trips to Berea from her home in Richmond as opportunities to engage with others who support women in realizing they are okay just the way they are—something it took her a while to discover in her own life. She enjoys what she describes as “watching women blossom and become articulate architects of their newly found lives.”