We Made This | Artisan Products by Refugee Women

Fashioning Change

International Women's Day - Women to Watch Awards

Allie BurrittComment

On this day, we want to celebrate! Here are excerpts from the Women to Watch awards honoring our WMT sewing teachers Tin Tin and Florence. The League of Women Voters will present these awards on March 22 to Tin Tin and Florence. (photo credit: Rose Dreisbach)

In 2015, WMT received the national award from Eileen Fisher Inc. for activating leadership. Through this grant money, we have grown to two staffed sewing teachers in the classroom. 

"Tin Tin Pyone is a woman to watch in Denver because she is actively fostering community connections that strengthen our city. Tin Tin’s leadership in the We Made This classroom as the lead sewing teacher is creating women who not only find empowerment and courage for success in themselves but the desire to build community among each other. Additionally, when the program is conducting outreach, fundraisers, sales, employment opportunities and other events, Tin Tin gracefully lends herself as a bridge between our students and the wider Denver public. As she said herself, “I always dreamt about helping WMT grow more than it has already. I want to welcome and provide opportunities for every woman who needs help. For those who do not speak English, know how to ride RTD, or have other challenges, I am here to help them. I am ready to help everyone.” In her own community of Burmese refugees, she is consistently encouraging women to step outside of the home and get involved. It is this passion for leading, teaching, and persevering that makes Tin Tin an influential Denver woman."

"Florence is originally from the Democratic Republic of Congo. 

It takes a strong woman to survive a life like Florence’s, but an even stronger one to survive with hope and faith intact. Florence has strength, hope, and faith but above all she has courage. In the WMT classroom she has taken on leadership and responsibilities that would be intimidating for most. She has done this with incredible success. She has helped to create a community of women who are more empowered in their lives. As a mother, she teaches her children to continue their educations so they can both hope for and achieve their dreams. She may be faced with the challenges of supporting her family, learning a new language, integrating into a new city, and more,but she works every day to meet those challenges with courage and hope so that the future will be brighter. Florence is an inspiration and example to all who meet her. She is always setting an example for others that it is possible to overcome hardship and achieve greatness."