CLIMB WYOMING

A statewide nonprofit empowering low income, single mothers by providing free job training, mental health counseling and guaranteed job placement in six Wyoming communities

Graduates, staff and the founder of Climb Wyoming — a statewide nonprofit empowering low income, single moms by providing free career training, mental health counseling and guaranteed job placement in six Wyoming communities. Left to Right: Shaylynn, Val, Irene, Brenda, founder Dr. Ray, Sarah, Misty, Amy and Artesia.

Graduates, staff and the founder of Climb Wyoming — a statewide nonprofit empowering low income, single moms by providing free career training, mental health counseling and guaranteed job placement in six Wyoming communities. Left to Right: Shaylynn, Val, Irene, Brenda, founder Dr. Ray, Sarah, Misty, Amy and Artesia.

 
We as women, we as individuals, can take advantage of an intense moment in time to do our work and do it well. It can change our lives.
— Dr. Ray Fleming Dinneen, Founder and Executive Director of Climb Wyoming
 
 
 

Listen to Climb’s story.

 

Single mothers and their children experience the highest rates of poverty among families in Wyoming. Climb Wyoming is a statewide nonprofit helping to alleviate poverty by providing free job training, life skill development, mental health counseling and guaranteed job placement to low income, single mothers living in six communities around the state of Wyoming.

In 1986, Climb’s founder and Executive Director, Dr. Ray Fleming Dinneen, and her mother, a widely sought-after psychologist and consulting forensic expert, were approached by the federal government to develop job training programs for populations most at risk for living in poverty. Speaking about her mother, Dr. Ray recalls, “So much of my mom was working with those who didn’t have a sense of themselves. She had so much hope for everyone and could see the potential in everyone.” Together, they began building Climb’s transformative model to recognize and unlock the potential of Wyoming single mothers.  

Climb’s model is immersive, intense and demands the full attention of participants and staff. Programming takes place over a three-month period with groups of ten moms at a time. The basis of Climb’s programming is career training and placement, but there’s more to permanent life change than getting a job. Climb accomplishes long-term self-sufficiency through life skill training and mental health counseling through group and 1:1 sessions.

Poverty is cyclical and passed down from one generation to the next. Over the 30+ years of Climb’s evolution, they’ve developed one of the nation’s most successful models for moving families out of poverty and have supported more than 2,000 women and their families. The result is a collective force of empowered, self-sufficient women who are confident, upwardly mobile and have created a better life for themselves and their children.

In this multi-subject profile, I talk with Climb’s founder, Dr. Ray Fleming Dinneen, Climb’s leadership staff and the incredible moms who share their journeys of self-sufficiency and vulnerability as a pathway to living more courageously.

 
artesia_climb_women_in_wyoming_portraitv.jpg
 
To me, power can be unlimited things. It’s being strong, being independent. It’s being the person that you know you can be, with all that’s within you.
— Artesia, Climb graduate
 
 
misty_climb_women_in_wyoming_portraitv.jpg
 
Every single being has a mountain in front of them, representing life’s challenges, the ups and downs. Some of us are at the base of that mountain without tools or resources, and that’s where we are in poverty. You have to be willing to show your vulnerability and show where you are that leads to confidence.
— Misty Savage, Program Director in Cheyenne, Wyoming
 
 
amy_climb_women_in_wyoming_cheyenne_portrait_01v.jpg
If you want something, go for it. Women need to have that strength, voice and courage knowing that they can overcome anything. Walk with confidence. Own the world.
— Amy, Climb graduate
 
val_climb_women_in_wyoming_cheyenne_portraitv3.jpg
To me, power is the women and what they accomplish in their time with us. Their power could look small to other people, but it’s not. Their power is so big, and it’s so big within.
— Valerie Arias, Business Liaison & Director in Cheyenne, Wyoming
brenda_climb_women_in_wyoming_cheyenne_portrait_01v.jpg
I’m going back to school. Never give up, always keep going.
— Brenda, Climb graduate
 
shaline_climb_women_in_wyoming_cheyenne_portrait_02v2.jpg
You can push yourself to go further and do better, especially for your kids.
— Shaylynn, Climb graduate
 
sarah_climb_women_in_wyoming_cheyenne_portrait_02v.jpg
 
I drive a concrete mixer. I love my job, and I’m able to buy my kids what they need and not struggle. You can do anything you put your mind to. Put the effort in. It’s going to pay off.
— Sarah, Climb graduate
 
 
irene_climb_women_in_wyoming_cheyenne_03v.jpg
 
Power means to me what you have to reach down in yourself and find. You may be at a point in your life where you feel like nobody cares about you, you don’t have anywhere to go, and you want to give up. You can reach down deep inside of yourself, grab power and get yourself together. Be where you’re supposed to be. Once you hit that point, you have to share it with the world.
— Irene, Climb graduate
 
 
dr_ray_dinneen_climb_women_in_wyoming_portrait_02_v1_1.jpg
 
 
It’s through getting in touch and trusting our emotion and vulnerability that we learn. The women are wonderful models for that. They are fearless, and they teach us through their vulnerability.
— Dr. Ray Fleming Dinneen, Founder and Executive Director of Climb Wyoming

Resources:

Learn about Climb: https://www.climbwyoming.org/

Resources for single moms: http://climbready.org/

Thank you Noa Staryk of NEST Jackson Hole for sponsoring Climb’s profile!