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Our History

WEN was founded in 1986 by legendary Kansas City leaders the late Beth K. Smith and Marjorie Powell Allen. They were inspired by a successful women-focused employment program in San Antonio that emphasized self-esteem. Realizing the need for this vital service in our city, they created WEN, the only organization of its kind in the area. 

More than 5,400 women have graduated from WEN’s programs. Thousands more have benefited from WEN’s support services, community referrals and other training. And countless children and family members beyond have better lives today, thanks to this remarkable organization.