Reverse Cinderella

Martha Rockwell, left, and Betsy Kurasch will present “Let’s Be Strong & Single,” a series of Reverse Cinderella workshops, to newly single women beginning next month.

Photo by Leisah Woldoff

As she was going through her divorce more than 20 years ago, Betsy Kurasch said she was weeping to her therapist about always having to sit in the back seat when going out with couples.

Her therapist said, “Betsy, if you drive the car, you always get to sit in the front seat.”

Those words changed her life, Kurasch says, making her realize “that I was driving my own life from the front seat of the car.”

When her marriage ended, so did her work as a lawyer at the personal injury law firm she and her husband ran, a job she said she was good at, but hated. After the divorce, she started a business in her garage, Luxury Bath Systems, which became successful, but when she started her current business three years ago, she said it was “the first time I’m doing something that I feel really, really good about.”

This business, Reverse Cinderella, helps newly single women primarily in their 50s and older regain their independence.

About two years ago, she contacted Martha Rockwell, owner of A+ Resumes & Career Coaching, who she found online, and asked her if she’d like to offer career services through Reverse Cinderella.

The women will launch their first workshop series, “Let’s Be Strong & Single” on Oct. 1 at the Valley of the Sun Jewish Community Center (see details box). The sessions are free to newly single women. “They want to be called newly single” instead of divorced or widowed, Kurasch notes.

Reverse Cinderella offers a number of workshops for free to organizations or women’s groups. In addition to the ones being offered at the VOSJCC, topics to choose from are: “Rewriting Your Autobiography,” “Create a Goal to be Accomplished Within 30 Days,” and “Reduce Financial Stress.”

Both Kurasch and Rockwell offer individual services as well. Kurasch meets weekly with clients to set goals and work toward accomplishing them.

Her role is similar to a life coach, but focuses only on helping women after divorce. She also recently trained to teach “Know Your Worth (Own Your Future): Financial Education for Women in Transition,” a joint initiative of Hadassah and Jewish Women International that launched this past summer. In addition to helping women set and meet their goals, she also offers other ways for them to move on with their lives, such as a Singles Shabbat –  a potluck Shabbat dinner for newly single women – and a walking group. There are two rules for both, she says. “Number one, you don’t discuss the prior relationship and number two, you don’t discuss bodily functions or illness. ... We used to talk about who is sleeping with whom, now we talk about who’s sleeping,” she notes, so she aims to change that.

Rockwell’s services include writing resumes, cover letters and LinkedIn profiles, as well as career coaching and assessment. She is also contracted with Jewish Family & Children’s Service to provide career counseling services for its Jewish Career Services Program. Jewish clients are eligible to apply for the program, which is free for qualified applicants. (To apply, call Kathy Rood at JFCS, 602-452-4627.)

Kurasch says she tells clients, “If you’re looking for the knight in shining armor, look in the mirror.”

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Who: Reverse Cinderella, A+ Resumes & Career Coaching

Oct. 1: Returning to the world of dating for newly single women, led by Betsy Kurasch

Nov. 5: Safety for the single woman, led by the Scottsdale Police Department

Dec. 3: Returning to the workforce, led by Martha Rockwell

When: 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.

Where: Valley of the Sun Jewish Community Center, 12701 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale

Cost: Free

Registration required: Harriet Colan, 480-483-7121, ext. 1213