A women walks quickly and awkwardly toward the neon sign that blinks “Women’s Shelter.” She is afraid but not alone. She is desperate but not full of pride. She is uneducated but not lost, thanks to a GCC counselor who cared.
Glady Kabateck, coordinator and counselor for the Adult Re-Entry Center, has been a mentor and a light for so many women who otherwise would have been lost.
After 20 some years of continued aid dedication to counseling, she recently received the Women of Heart and Excellence award.
The annual Glendale Young Women’s Christian Association Legacy Luncheon was held on May 14 at the La Ca§ada Flintridge Country Club.
The luncheon, hosted by TV news anchor Ann Martin, “honors women in the community who are role models and mentors, including me because of my role as an ambassador of goodwill for the college and to the Glendale community,” Kabateck said.
She chose to volunteer at the YWCA because of the organization’s dedication and commitment to the community.
“One of their main philanthropies is, of course, working with the shelter for domestic violence. The mission of the YWCA is to create opportunities for women’s growth, leadership, and empowerment,” Kabateck said.
The YWCA of Glendale was founded in 1926 by 15 prominent women.
The initial program included employment services and a business girls’ club. In the 1930s, free meals and emergency relief were offered (including a dormitory for transient women), the YWCA Web site said.
Today, the organization offers other programs to aid women.
“The domestic violence program is a 24-hour crime prevention service and a shelter for families of domestic violence,” said Kabateck.
“Also, the Encore Plus program offers an award- winning breast and cervical cancer screening program to low-income women who are over the age of 40.”
Kabateck embraced YWCA’s ideals, joined the program and began the connection between many women’s hopes and dreams and their goals and careers.
“I felt there was a real need in the ’80s [to help women],” she said. “When I started with the program, it was very important that we had a link from the college to the community. This was especially true at the shelter.”
The women at the shelter “were in hard times, and then there were those who thought they could not even attend college because they had not received a high school degree,” said Kabateck. So, she took the college to them.
Every month, she faithfully brings GCC brochures, applications and class schedules to the women at the shelter.
“I want to let them know that it is possible for them to come to the school and learn some skills-show them that they can stand on their own two feet,” Kabateck said.
Once the admission application is complete, Kabateck invites the newly enrolled students into her office, the Adult Re-Entry Center.
The center caters to adults in transition, separated adults, divorced adults, adults who are widowed, displaced homemakers, and single parents.
The Adult Re-Entry Center, according to its borchures, helps to give direction and “provides the support and encouragement needed for [adults] to take that first step. It is a place to start.”