Fresh Start Womens Foundation

A nonprofit organization

11 donors

In 1992, sisters Pat Petznick and Beverly Stewart formalized a foundation focused on fundraising and granting money to Arizona nonprofits serving women in need. Through the course of that granting process, it became apparent there were gaps in women's programs in Maricopa County, AZ. After a successful capital campaign, the Jewell McFarland-Lewis Fresh Start Women's Resource Center (WRC) opened in the Phoenix downtown area in 2002. Today, Fresh Start sees over 26,000 visits per year from 5,000 women in transition who are seeking support and knowledge to change their lives.

Seven core programs and services work holistically to promote the financial self-sufficiency, career and educational advancement, and
physical and emotional well-being of women and their families.

Core Programs:

  • Personal Development Services: Master's-level social workers assist clients in prioritizing needs and accessing community resources.
  • Family Law Support Services: Helps women navigating divorce, child support, or custody issues.
  • Career Services: Provides one-on-one career coaching, an Online Job Center,  on-the-job training program, entrepreneur program and workshops in job readiness, higher education planning, and career advancement.
  • Education Services: Facilitates workshops and special events on topics such as Career Development, Financial Fitness, and Healthy Living. In addition, one-on-one financial coaching is available for women to learn about their personal finances.
  • Self-Esteem Services: Provides free or low-cost workshops and individual professional wardrobe consultations, hair and skin care, social skills, and inner confidence. Women receive a complete outfit for job interviewing and/or family court appearances.
  • Mentoring Program: Pairs women with volunteer mentors to address financial, educational, career, or entrepreneurial transitions and goals.
  • Specialized Resource Library containing fifteen public-access computers and over 8,000 books, periodicals and media for lending or on-site use.

These services are all provided at the WRC and are available six days per week including evening and Saturdays. Free on-site childcare is offered during all open hours at the WRC.

Fresh Start serves women 18 years of age or older in Maricopa County who use Fresh Start’s services to learn to move on to the next phase of their lives while attaining self sufficiency. A large number of the women served are single moms, tasked with caring for their children alone, while working or trying to find work to financially support her household.

In light of Arizona women’s unemployment rates (currently 7.3%), increase in domestic violence and low rates of college graduation, Fresh Start firmly believes that the success, stability, and health of a woman and her family
depend upon three components of personal and professional development: economic self-sufficiency, educational attainment, and career security and advancement.

Organization Data


Organization name

Fresh Start Womens Foundation

Tax id (EIN)



Humanitarian Aid




(602) 252-8494