Renata Bryan, Assistant Manager of Business Development sat down with Rebekah Suwak, the Director of Marketing to relive some of her best times and biggest takeaways from her time at Rethreaded before successfully transitioning out of the program.
Q: ‘How do you believe the program at Rethreaded has helped you move forward in life?’
A; It has a lot to do with believing in myself in the beginning and at times throughout my healing journey, I used to look at things and think I could never do that. Rethreaded has walked with me throughout my journey and empowered me. Rethreaded celebrates my wins and shows me that I can do these things. When this new position came up I thought immediately yes, I can do that. There’s so much empowerment that comes from the program at Rethreaded. Society had originally forgotten about these women and when you come to Rethreaded people begin to believe in you again. Wins are celebrated at Rethreaded, even the small things which can grow into even bigger wins. One of Rethreaded’s values is believing the best in others even before they believe it in themselves.
Q: ‘What was the best thing about your job?’
A: I realized that I wasn’t learning skills for just a job, I was learning skills that would take me places. My favorite part of my job was being able to talk to people- and getting to know them. It just reminds me that everybody has a story. I like that I can show people my passion as well. I loved the networking piece of my job, and getting to see the love people have for the community. I had a big role in recruiting and seeing new women come to us and start work at Rethreaded. These are women that knew me before I got to Rethreaded, and now they can see how much I have grown.
Q: ‘What benefits or experiences have you had that were unique to Rethreaded?’
A: That’s a good question, the best benefit would be that I worked for a company that understands me and understands where I’m coming from. It was always a safe place when I came to work. It was normal for women to come to work not feeling okay. The employees and the staff are prepared for women to come to work and not be okay. You cannot find that anywhere else and that’s something that I’ve had to work on with Erin, our mental health counselor the past couple of weeks. I have thrived in the judge-free zone that exists at Rethreaded.
Q: ‘What would you tell the next woman out there who will come to Rethreaded about the job waiting for her?’
A: Trust the process. There are a lot of things that she’s not going to understand. The most important thing for her to understand is that someone has come before her and it’s going to be okay. She needs to be open and honest about what she wants from life. Rethreaded will play a big role in helping get her there. This is not just a job, this is a new way of life. Trust the process and show up.
Q: ‘What does success mean to you?’
A: To me, success is being happy with who you are and what you’re trying to do. I think that’s where I learned how to be successful was when I stopped counting how much money was in my bank account, and I started counting successes more as what makes me happy today. I have the power to get that information to my kids. It is the little things, like purchasing bicycles for my kids. I sat in the county jail facing a life sentence twice. The second time I really thought I was going away for life and even if I come out of this like I’m never going to see my kids again. I thought no one’s ever going to care about me… I thought my life was over. Today, I’m successful because I can financially provide for my children. It’s not the wealthiest life ever, but we’re happy and my family’s happy. I’m able to help my children reach their goals and learn the importance of legacy. My kids look up to me today. I am also teaching them to have values and that living by those values you will find happiness.
Q: ‘Anything else you would like to share?’
A: I’m just so grateful like I was looking back at my life before I was trafficked and thinking there’s no way out. I like to believe that everything happens for a reason. I know there was a purpose for what I went through and I’m just so grateful to be able to go to school and have a company back me on that and stand there with me. I got a badass team behind me. My journey with Rethreaded is not over, my employment may be but Rethreaded hasn’t seen the last of me.
We wish Renata nothing but the best and are stoked about her journey of success! Leave your good wishes and congratulations in the comments below.