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Sarah Woods

After seven years as a stay-at-home housewife, mother-of-five Sarah Woods was ready to bust out. "I went to LCC to get the skills to do something," she says. "I needed some purpose in my life." Three years after starting classes in computer programming, she now teaches community-ed IT courses at the college. The child of a broken home, homeless at times in her teens, and the victim of domestic violence by the father of her two older kids, Woods wanted to create a safe place for women to get together online. Two years ago, she launched A New Avenue, a private message board for women in transition. "We have a 200-member base," she reports. Recently accorded non-profit status by the state, ANA now also hosts several forums that are open to the public on its website, anewavenue.com. The first local chapter of ANA, offering weekly meetings and monthly outings, was established in Eugene this year. "Next year we plan a new chapter every four months," says Woods, who appears in the photo with her youngest, four-year-old Jessica.

happening people

photograph and story by Paul Neevel

Eugene Weekly / 14 September 2006

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