From its humble beginnings in 1992, providing makeovers to women in the back of Rolf’s Salon, Pat Petznick and her late sister Beverly Stewart built Fresh Start Women’s Foundation into a symbol of hope and transformation. To honor those beginnings and the enduring legacy of co-founder Pat Petznick, the Phoenix-based nonprofit dedicated to empowering women on their journeys to self-sufficiency, celebrated Petznick on May 16 with the naming of their Education Center and the release of the book The Fresh Start Story.

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During the event, Petznick made a generous announcement pledging $1 million to name the Petznick Education Center at Fresh Start. This transformative legacy gift will enable Fresh Start to provide more women with greater access to education and learning onsite, online, and on-demand through the development and branding of a curriculum and courses that are essential for women on the path to self-sufficiency.

“I am deeply grateful to everyone who has been a part of this journey, from our dedicated volunteers, donors, and staff to our community partners and the women whose lives we’ve touched. Together, we are all building a brighter future,” said Petznick. “As we look ahead, I am filled with hope, knowing that the incredible women in my family will continue to champion the mission of women’s empowerment through education, ensuring that Fresh Start’s transformative impact endures for generations to come.”

To date, Fresh Start has empowered over 60,000 women on their journeys to build brighter futures for themselves and their children. Through personalized programs focused on critical subjects including health and well-being, computer skills, financial management, resume building and professionalism, to providing job training and scholarships for certifications and college degrees in partnership with educators and employers, education has remained at the core of Fresh Start’s mission. 

“Studies show that as women achieve higher levels of education, they improve their families’ living standards. Education and in-demand hard and soft job skills are fundamental to women’s ability to overcome adverse circumstances and lift themselves out of poverty,” said Kim McWaters, President and CEO of Fresh Start Women’s Foundation. “The naming of the Petznick Education Center at Fresh Start reflects our commitment to evolving education practices to meet the changing needs of women in their pursuit of self-sufficiency and success.”

The May 16 event featured the presentation of The Fresh Start Story, authored by founding board member Marlene Klotz Collins. The book is a heartfelt tribute to Fresh Start’s rich history and the countless lives it has touched over the past three decades. Each guest received a signed, first-edition copy of the book and additional copies are available upon request for a small donation.

With over 200 attendees, who were each a part of The Fresh Start Story, the event provided a platform for individuals to immerse themselves in Fresh Start’s inspiring journey of empowerment and resilience and celebrate what’s to come.

For more information about programs and services or to make a donation to Fresh Start Women’s Foundation, please visit