As the orchestrator of the project, Sarahlyn U. Argrow has shared a personal chapter out of her life that most women in her position would not share. She hopes to motivate and inspire women to rise above their circumstances and grab another woman's hand in the process.
The book is also unique because of the women who wrote the short stories. The women have shared some of their trials and triumphs solely for the hope they will deliver and set free women throughout the world; they are receiving no monetary rewards. This collaborative effort is a tribute to the generous nature of women all over the world.
Inspired by Oprah Winfrey's Legends Ball, Sarahlyn instituted the AWWIN Top Ten Working Women of the Year Awards in 2006 at their Annual Gala & Silent Auction.
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.26(d)|
Read an Excerpt
Secrets of the Woman in the SuitChanging Lives One Woman at a Time
By Sarahlyn U. Argrow
AuthorHouseCopyright © 2010 Sarahlyn U. Argrow
All right reserved.
I was one of those women who wanted more and did not know how to go about it. That was until God brought Ms. Sarahlyn Argrow and A Working Woman In Need (AWWIN) into my life. Ms. Argrow has a vision to help single working women and the blessing AWWIN has been to me and my family has been a miracle in many ways.
A Working Woman In Need gave me encouragement and much needed support while helping me to increase my job skills. I learned how to speak in front of an audience, which I previously thought I could not do. I also learned a great deal of new terms through AWWIN's Vocabulary Increase Program and received strength from the instructors and Ms. Argrow. AWWIN provided everything I needed when I was attending the classes including childcare. Also, I did not have to miss work because the hours did not conflict with my work schedule. I bolstered my computer skills, business skills and professional skills while attending the AWWIN Professional Development training. After completing the development classes in 2002, I obtained employment with the Department of Juvenile Justice. Last year I received an anniversary certificate thanking me for 5 years of service with the State of Georgia!
There are only a few programs available to assist people who are short on funds. However, Ms. Argrow and AWWIN assisted me and my family again. During the holidays, the organization made sure my daughter received gifts. There were other times when I fell a little short in making it work on my own; I called Sarahlyn at the last minute and she would do what she could. For example, four years after completing the program, I got sick and had nowhere to turn. I thought I was no longer eligible for assistance. I was without lights for four days, lost all I had to eat, and was unable to afford my medicine. Somehow, Sarahlyn found out and helped me get back on my feet by providing me with food and by using some of her personal money. It is during times like those that I most appreciate Ms. Argrow's availability. She did get upset if I called her at the last minute, only because she says that is what AWWIN is here for to assist working women in need. She told me, "You are always a member; don't wait until the last minute, just pick up the phone."
Because there are so few programs to help working women, many give up and stay home and try to get public assistance. I can't say it enough: Sarahlyn is an angel God has assigned to help women like me and our families. And those she seeks to help us are great and caring people also. I will never forget the times Sarahlyn has helped me in so many ways. I hope everything she needs to make this Vision to go on be blessed 100% in every area. Sarahlyn, you do make a difference in other's lives. Keep doing what you are doing. -Henrietta Williams
Sarahlyn U. Argrow
In 2000, Sarahlyn U. Argrow turned her vision of assisting working, single women with children into a reality. She is the Founder and Chairman of the nonprofit organization, Assisting Working Women In Need, more commonly referred to as its acronym AWWIN, Inc. AWWIN, Inc. is a nonprofit organization designed to help single, working women and their children better their circumstances.
Sarahlyn's foresight and vision regarding the plight of single, working women have been central to the success of AWWIN, Inc. She is actively involved in the key management and strategic decisionmaking of AWWIN including, but not limited to, business operations, venue operations, administration, educational programming, development, infrastructure design and execution, grant budget, risk management, policy making, and public and community relations.
Sarahlyn plays a major role in the technical development of ancillary components such as AWWIN Professional Development, a computer skills, job readiness and job referral class. Under Sarahlyn's leadership, AWWIN's mission has been to deliver a full continuum of support services to single, working women and their children who are economically disadvantaged by providing an array of services that build self-reliance and foster personal, educational and professional achievement. As the founder of AWWIN, Inc., Sarahlyn also consults with other business owners and future business owners on the ABC's of starting a business, as well as the ABC's of who God created them to be. She has been very instrumental in assisting others in reaching their goals and tapping into the potential God placed inside of them.
Sarahlyn is one who dreams of the impossible and makes it happen. She looks at things and people, and sees opportunities for partnership with AWWIN. She recognizes that AWWIN involves more than the single, struggling mother but working women in general. Inspired by Oprah Winfrey's Legends Ball, Sarahlyn realized working women in the city of Savannah needed to be honored for all of their hard work and accomplishments. She incorporated the Savannah Top Ten Working Women of the Year Awards in 2006 at AWWIN's Annual Gala and Silent Auction. After two years of hosting the awards ceremony, Sarahlyn knew that it was bigger than Savannah. Therefore, it is now the AWWIN Top Ten Working Women of the Year Awards. The first recipient of the award outside of Savannah, was the 2008 Education Honoree, Ms. Charcia Nichols of Atlanta, Georgia. As of May 2010, The AWWIN Top Ten Working Women of the Year Awards will be held in both Savannah and Atlanta, Georgia. AWWIN's expansion continues with this inaugural book, The Secrets of the Woman in the Suit: Changing Lives, One Woman at a Time which features The AWWIN Top Ten Working Women of the Year Recipients.
Sarahlyn has been honored as one of the 2008 Savannah Technical Foundation Community Stars; the 2009 Martin Luther King, Jr. Humanitarian Award Recipient of Savannah, Georgia; a WTOC Hometown Hero; and a WJCL Champion of Change. Additionally, Sarahlyn and AWWIN's positive mission have been featured in Savannah Morning News, South Magazine, Skirt Magazine, Savannah Herald, Savannah Tribune and other local news entities.
In addition to her passion for assisting the single, working woman, Sarahlyn is also interested in ways to slow down the rising rate of teenage pregnancy. She enjoys public speaking, motivating others and spending time with her family and friends. She is a member of New Birth Savannah Ministry and is working on her first book, Where I Am, Is Not Where I Am Going (No Matter What They Say).
Where I Am, Is Not Where I Am Going (No Matter What They Say)
"Hello, Ms. Argrow, this is Sharonte Turner from the Mayor's Office."
"Yes, how are you doing?" I asked, my heart suddenly pounding as I steadied one hand on my cell phone and the other on the steering wheel.
"Fine, thank you," said Ms. Turner. "I am calling on behalf of Mayor Johnson. He's been invited to participate in a program that Armstrong Atlantic State University is hosting at the DeSoto Hilton, and he'd like to know if you'd be interested in being part of a panel discussion on women and leadership issues."
"Well, yes, I would love to sit on that panel. When is it?" I said, at this point doing my best to concentrate and stay on the road while I processed the fact that I was really and truly talking to the Mayor's assistant.
"It's in March. I can send you the information the Mayor received," Sharonte explained. "Do you have a fax machine, or do you want me to mail it to you?"
"Yes, please fax it," I replied, trying very hard to sound like this call was just one of my everyday calls, when what I really wanted to do was shout at the top of my voice with excitement!
"Can you give me your fax number?" Sharonte asked.
"It's ... ah, let me think, I believe it's ... hmmm ... let me look at my business card to make sure. I just moved into this office and sometimes I forget those numbers. Oh, here it is!" I responded, as I prayed silently for the will to maintain my composure until we finished our conversation.
"Okay, Ms. Argrow, I will fax it over immediately."
"Thank you, so much," I said, "that will be fine."
* * *
And it WAS fine! But let's get real. When I received that phone call from the Mayor's Office in 2007, I was so elated that I simply wanted to stop my car and praise the Lord on the side of the street!
Who would have ever thought that Sarahlyn U. Argrow would be getting a call from the Mayor of Savannah, a distinguished pillar of the community? No, this was not a call from the President, but to me it was the same. I thought I would burst inside with joy and a sense of pride! Moments later, I picked up my mother from my cousin's house to drive her back to her home in Sylvania, Georgia. I immediately told her about the call, and she, too, was excited. I could hear a sense of pride in her voice, something I had waited many years to hear. We stopped by the AWWIN office to make sure paper was in the fax machine. (Of course paper was in the machine, but I added more to make sure I did not miss a page of what Ms. Turner was sending.) It was my mother's first visit, and I was truly excited to show her our accomplishments. My mother and I waited anxiously, watching the fax machine as if it were about to deliver manna to our waiting hands. The invitation from the mayor would not be real until I could feel and touch the written request. I received the fax at 12:27 p.m.... exactly. It felt as though someone had given me not just manna from heaven but a million dollars, too. I carefully stapled the pages together and took them home. I gave the fax to each of my daughters to read-yes, all five of them (and one of my sons-in-law, too, who just happened to be there). And they read what I read: The Mayor of Savannah, Georgia was asking me-one of just three to six women in our beautiful city full of talented women-to participate in a panel discussion about the possibilities, values, challenges and strategies of and for woman in leadership. Like a choir, my daughters sang out together: "Congratulations, Mama ... this is wonderful. You deserve this, and we are so proud of you!"
* * *
I often tell people I am a wealthy woman: I am blessed with family, friends and associates (I know it is just a matter of time before wealth is given to me in dollars and cents equal to the wealth I have with the people in my life!)
And, often, in my office or wherever I am, I just shut my eyes and think, "God, you are awesome!" And then I'll remember the moving words to that powerful song, Amazing Grace, and say to myself: "He has taken this wretch and shown His merciful favor on and in my life. He has shown me the way to become a single woman who can lead, a woman who can help other single women in need."
Through His mercy and grace I now know that much has been given to me, and thus, much is required. Through His mercy and grace I know that "Where I am now, is not where I am going."
Now, can I tell you about the woman who received the request from the Mayor's Office?
* * *
My name is Sarahlyn U. Argrow, and this is my story.
I was born, Sarahlyn Uneeda Grant, to Catherine Grant and James Young on January 25, 1958. My parents were young and unmarried when my mother found herself pregnant. She left her home in Sylvania, Georgia and relocated to Fort Pierce, Florida, where I was born. But we weren't there long. After my birth, my mother moved back to Sylvania, had another daughter, got married and then moved back to Florida. My sister and I joined her there later. Eventually, we returned to Georgia, finally settling in Savannah, the place I have called home since 1969.
Like my mother, I started having children at a young age ... too young. I was only fifteen and in the tenth grade when I gave birth to my first child, a beautiful baby girl.
Let me tell you young girls who are reading this story, it was certainly not a picnic. I went through hard, HARD labor! I screamed so loud the nurses wanted to gag me. It was as if my mama said: "Let her hurt so that she won't find this so easy to do the next time."
I did wait for quite some time to have another child. Still, I clearly saw that what little bit of childhood I had left was now certainly gone. I knew at the tender age of 15 that I, not my mother-who, as a single parent, had struggled enough with me and my six sisters-had to be the responsible person, the person who was going to care for this baby. I no longer had the luxury of worrying about what I was going to wear for the prom or what state I was going to attend college in. Ready or not, there was no turning back.
* * *
I did not marry my baby's father. We did not even make it to the next year as a couple. I knew raising my daughter alone would be a struggle, but I wasn't going to marry just for the "sake of show." Did I make the right decision? Knowing God as I do now, I would say "no." But the wrong decision was made when I decided to become sexually active when I was too young and unmarried. So, it wasn't easy. I dropped out of high school, took jobs I did not want to work, and had to fib about my age just to get them (remember, I was just fifteen). I worked as a bartender and waitress in bars and in rundown businesses where the receptionists got the double whammy: we were hit on and we were poorly paid. But, I provided for my daughter and myself.
I became a defensive, bitter, but strong willed and determined young lady. I still have some of this strong-minded person to let go of. Don't get me wrong; it is good to be strong, but it's also important to be strong in a positive way. Some of this stubbornness and determination I am holding onto is the shield I have built through years of struggle. Yes, I made the choice to become sexually active and, yes, I paid the price. That is why I can tell any young woman to count the cost. Sometimes choices are made through what we know and what we have lived or gone through. We do not realize at such a young age that the choices we make are going to affect the rest of our lives.
I just wish there was a way I could explain to young people that no matter what they are facing, no matter what they think of their lives right now, they have to take the time to think beyond this moment or day and see themselves ten years from now. They must ask themselves: Will the decision I'm about to make, make my life be easier, or am I going to have to struggle extra hard just to make it, much less to get back on track?
But back to my story ... I lived with my mom until my daughter turned one year old, and then I started "playing house" with a young man who, I later realized, was not good for me or my daughter. I moved back in with my mother, always knowing in my gut that there was something much better out there for me.
* * *
When I was eighteen, I met the man who would become my husband and fell head over heels in love. You know the old saying: "A man or woman so fool in love, you can run a train through their nose"? ... Well, that was me. This was a love that the train ran through and added another track. No one could show me any wrong in him or what I was doing. I wanted to be the love of somebody's life, and this was the man ... or so I thought.
Excerpted from Secrets of the Woman in the Suit by Sarahlyn U. Argrow Copyright © 2010 by Sarahlyn U. Argrow. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
ContentsHenrietta Williams Testimonial....................1
Sarahlyn U Argrow Where I Am, Is Not Where I Am Going (No Matter What They Say)....................5
Mikki Garcia Life is Definitely a Journey....................25
Brynn Grant What I Know Now....................37
Paula Kreissler Finding Mama....................47
Kathryn Martin, PhD, MPA No-Name Angels....................55
Lisa Scarbrough Pet Rescue Barbie....................61
Barbara Treadwell Ingredients of My Success....................73
Marjorie Young Fight for my Family Business....................81