///I Am Not a Nobody

I Am Not a Nobody

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Nine hundred twenty-five Appalachian women have graduated from the life-changing New Opportunity School for Women programs located in Kentucky, North Carolina, and Virginia/West Virginia. In I Am Not a Nobody eleven of these courageous women share their life stories—difficult and painful stories of abuse, poverty, limited education, drugs, and early marriages. They also share their life-changing journeys with the New Opportunity School for Women where they became empowered to believe in themselves and their values and abilities and gained the courage to succeed—for themselves and their families.

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Nine hundred twenty-five Appalachian women have graduated from the life-changing New Opportunity School for Women programs located in Kentucky, North Carolina, and Virginia/West Virginia. In I Am Not a Nobody eleven of these courageous women share their life stories—difficult and painful stories of abuse, poverty, limited education, drugs, and early marriages. They also share their life-changing journeys with the New Opportunity School for Women where they became empowered to believe in themselves and their values and abilities and gained the courage to succeed—for themselves and their families.

“[T]oday my life has purpose and that motivates me to want to help other women discover their own dreams. I know today I am intelligent, able, and beautiful…No matter what cards life deals …, you have the power within to deal yourself a new hand.” BRANDI C

“I had to shed my past, set and follow my goals, and become the strong woman that God made me to be. If I can do it, anyone can.” PATTY

“Just know you are alive for a reason… you’re not a nobody. You do matter, and you are important. I really don’t think I would be where I am today, if not for the New Opportunity School.” ELIZABETH

You will also read about the creation of this “miracle program” and its history (Part 2), and about its founder (Part 3), Jane B. Stephenson.

“This is Jane’s story as I have attempted to construct it from her words, and this is how she tells it.”—Crystal White Kieloch

In “Jane’s Story,” Crystal White Kieloch beautifully tells the story of Jane B. Stephenson’s inspiring life of service and her passion for improving the lives of Appalachian women. In an opening scene, Kieloch recaptures in vivid, precise prose the moment Stephenson appeared with Oprah on her show to receive the Use Your life Award, become one of Oprah’s Angles, and to accept for the program a $100,000 gift.

“[C]elebrate these highly motivated women…experience what a privilege it is to get to know them through their life stories… rejoice in their extreme courage.
—Jane B. Stephenson

All profits received from the sale of this book go to supporting the work of the New Opportunity School for Women Foundation, Inc. and the program sites.

Author Bios

Jane Stephenson

JANE B. STEPHENSON was born and educated in Banner Elk, in the mountains of North Carolina. Jane has degrees from Lees-McRae College, the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina, and the University of Kentucky in Lexington, Kentucky. In 1966, soon after her marriage to Professor John Stephenson, they moved to Lexington, where they raised their three children. In 1984, Dr. Stephenson became president of Berea College in Berea, Kentucky. After the family moved to Berea in 1984, Jane intensified her interest in educating adults by founding the nationally recognized New Opportunity School for Women (NOSW) in 1987, which has been in operation for thirty-two years. In addition to the Berea site, two other locations of the NOSW are at Lees-McRae College in Banner Elk, North Carolina, and at Bluefield College, in Bluefield, Virginia. As of August 2019, nine hundred twenty-five women have graduated from the residential three-week programs at all sites.

Jane received Oprah’s Use Your Life Award in 2003 and has received other awards from various state and national organizations. She lives in Lexington, Kentucky, but spends summers in her beloved North Carolina mountains. All three of Jane’s children, their spouses, and her three grandchildren also reside in Lexington. John was diagnosed with leukemia and died in 1994. His work as an Appalachian scholar lives on.

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CRYSTAL WHITE KIELOCH

CRYSTAL WHITE KIELOCH was born in the rural hills of West Virginia and graduated from Princeton Senior High School in 1984. She holds degrees from Bluefield College in Bluefield, Virginia, and Union Institute & University in Cincinnati, Ohio. Crystal has spent the last twenty years of her life at Bluefield College. Currently, she teaches in the English Department of the college. She has been a writer from a young age, keeping diaries and writing stories, which led her to scholarly work with the personal essay, memoir, biography, and creative nonfiction.

Crystal has volunteered with the New Opportunity School for Women at Bluefield College since it began in 2013. She teaches workshops in the program on creative writing, personality styles, and English review. She also offers other workshops relating to creative expression and spends as much time as possible working with the participants of the program each year. Crystal is a member of the Bluefield Advisory Council for NOSW and has served as a member of the New Opportunity School Foundation Board since 2013. In 2017, she was elected co-chair of the NOSW Foundation Board.

Crystal lost her husband, Ron Kieloch, in January of 2013, and she has since put her energies into her teaching and scholarly work, serving the NOSW, and supporting and being supported by her close-knit family.

Additional information

Category:

Nonfiction

ISBN:

978-1-945049-15-6

Paperback:

$20.00 (312 pages)

Publication Date:

September 2020

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