The Women’s Resource Center (WRC) is thrilled to recognize its first MyWRC J.Jill “Woman of the Quarter”— Felicia Phillips.  

Felicia equates adversity with opportunity and is thriving because of who she represents:  WRCWomen Resonating Courage, Conviction, and Commitment.

Regina Morris, her WRC case manager, and others will attest to how Felicia embodies WRC.  

“In the time I’ve worked with Felicia, she has had many obstacles placed in her path, which have given her reason to pause—but in no way have stopped her from moving forward.  From one of our first meetings, I realized she was a determined lady with a ‘where there’s a will, there’s a way’ attitude, so there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that she will always find a way.”

To honor Felicia’s unwavering commitment, the WRC, in collaboration with the J.Jill Compassion Fund, named her the first My WRC J.Jill Woman of the Quarter. Aside from serving as a role model to others, J.Jill celebrated Felicia’s success by treating her to a shopping spree at their store located in University Town Center.  Store manager Kelly Ann Csektis along with stylist Deena Thomas were fabulous and gave her a great start on building her professional wardrobe.

  1. Jill Compassion Fund Grant Gives Project UpLift a Boost

As the Florida recipient of the J.Jill Compassion Fund grant, the WRC can bolster its Employment + Empowerment workshops—the cornerstone of Project UpLift, which includes counseling, job training and education, financial planning—programs that have enabled this single mother of five to improve her life.  

Felicia Navigates Towards Her Destination—and Beyond

“My greatest blessing—ever—was learning about the WRC.  When my kids were in summer school at Alta Vista Elementary (AVE), I participated in their 2GEN program, which strengthened my parenting skills.”

“2GEN led me to one of  its partners, the WRC, and its Project UpLift program.” Felicia explains.  “An Alta Vista social worker doubted I would be a good fit because of financial burdens and parenting challenges.  Lucky for me, she changed her mind when she saw how motivated I was.”

Felicia continues, beaming. “I began meeting with a phenomenal WRC case manager, Regina Morris.”  

Determined to succeed, Felicia has learned to budget effectively, cope with stress, and achieve her educational quests.  “ WRC’s financial support—through scholarships—has helped me pursue my nursing goals. And now that I am a Licensed Practical Nurse, , I’m one step closer to becoming a Registered Nurse.”  

Felicia continues:  “Regina shared an entire year of blood,  sweat, and tears. She was my backbone when things got tough—through the good, bad, and ugly.  She still counsels me about next steps—listening and encouraging me.”

Passionate about nursing, Felicia has achieved the following—one stepping stone at a time.  And—she’s only just begun.

  • CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant):  A CNA for 18 years, Felicia received this certification, financing her education by working customer service jobs she sought.
  • GED Graduation:  While working as a CNA in the evenings and on weekend, she received her GED—on her first try—through Suncoast Technical College (STC) in 2016.   
  • IV Therapy Certificate.  While waiting to take the State of Florida’s Licensing Exam and studying for the LPN exam, Felicia enrolled in the STC class, becoming certified.
  • LPN:   Having completed clinical experiences at local hospitals, including Sarasota Memorial and Doctor’s, Felicia graduated from this 12-month STC program in August 2017 and passed her boards in January 2018—again on her first attempt—being honored by the Community Foundation of Sarasota County, her benefactor, in a special ceremony.
  • LPN at Sunshine Meadows, a Sarasota assisted living facility.

Felicia’s Future Knows No Bounds

“The next rung of the ladder is receiving my RN.”

When does Felicia have time to study?  Fervent about attaining her goals, she studies after her children are asleep.  “My children, their future, and my education are all important. I manage to fit everything in.  In fact, I never missed a day of school while enrolled in my LPN program at Suncoast Technical College,” she says proudly.

According to Regina, “She’s been a role model for her children, who have seen her studying late into the night, as they go to bed.  They have even wanted to help her study, using her flash cards. Felicia wants to show not only her children but the people in her neighborhood that with hard work and determination, you can make improvements in your life.”

Mary Tucker, AVE’s Parent Education Navigator for 2GEN, echoes Regina’s praises:

“Felicia Phillips is a very motivated, caring individual, who has worked hard to achieve her goals of becoming an LPN.  We are very proud of her and all her accomplishments.  We know that she will continue to thrive in all that she does and look forward to seeing where her hard work will take her.”

Epitomizing WRC, this J.Jill MyWRC  “Woman of the Quarter” reflects on 2018:  “I think this year is going to be one to remember—the most memorable things are looking up for me.”