Congratulations to Leslie Eschenbacher, a Women of Colors featured member! Leslie works as a Prevention Education Coordinator for the CAN Council and is also instrumental with WOC’s prevention initiatives. Evelyn McGovern, WOC President and Cofounder, nominated Leslie for this member spotlight because Leslie is always willing to help and she embraces diversity, working with a wide variety of individuals from Bay City to Saginaw.
“Women of Colors partners with the CAN Council to provide substance abuse prevention programs to parents,” explains Evelyn. “That’s a great collaboration! Leslie does a parenting program through the CAN Council. She has definitely been an asset to our organization and to the community, and we love having her as part of our team.”
Leslie decided to get involved in prevention activities through WOC after she and her supervisor noticed that a lot of the families they were working with were dealing with substance abuse issues. Leslie’s goal was to become better equipped to help these families. “My supervisor began working with Women of Colors, but I figured I was Caucasian so I wouldn’t be able to work with them to receive the education I was looking for,” Leslie recalls. “Evelyn and Lynn reached out to me, and to my surprise, they agreed to supervise me. I was informed that it’s Women of Colors because all women are accepted. I thought that was amazing. I was excited to be able to get involved with their Prevention Team.”
Leslie is currently a Prevention Specialist with Women of Colors. She is trained in Prime for Life and Racial Justice and Wellness and hopes to be trained in the Botvin program soon. Her team reaches many different types of audiences through their programming: “We train in middle and high schools, churches, other agencies, and juvenile facilities. We will train a class of two or three if they are interested and could benefit from the program. Even being able to help one person is better than helping none.”
From serving her community in this capacity, Leslie has learned that there is always more to learn! “Working with WOC has opened my eyes up to so many things,” she says. “I was not educated in substance use disorder, but I knew it was an issue in the community I served. The trainings and experiences I’ve received will help me serve as a better leader in my community.”
Leslie feels excited and humbled by the potential impact her work could have on people who receive training from the Prevention Team. “I hope that after they leave the trainings, they take everything they have learned and use it to benefit themselves. I hope they look for other resources that will help them become a productive part of their family and community. It is never too late.”