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Port Chester Daily Voice serves Port Chester, NY
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Nearby Support Group For Unemployed In Port Chester

RYE, N.Y. -- Kathryn Stack has practiced law in Japan, Singapore, Canada and the UK, but getting back into the game after 14 years spent raising a family full-time isn't so simple. "I know that I am capable, but it's convincing other people that I'm more concerned about," said Stack, who is considering taking the bar to practice law in the U.S. now that her two children have reached adolescence. Over the past year since Stack decided to return to the work force she has been meeting with Lives in Transition , a support group for the un- and underemployed.

The group meets the first and third Thursday of each month from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at Rye Presbyterian Church with members coming from throughout the Hudson Valley and New York City. The secular organization is volunteer-supported and attendance is free and open to all.

"We create a safe environment for people to talk about things that are not so easy," said Arjan Eenkema van Dijk, who founded the group in May 2009 in the aftermath of the global financial crisis. "We support people and they support each other."

More than just a place to express feelings, Lives in Transitions provides job-finding workshops and brings in both professional speakers and past members who have found employment. Stack hopes that some day she will be invited to speak as one of the members who have "landed." She is also diversifying her prospects, and is in the initial stages of starting her own business providing English language instruction to Japanese immigrants. She would also like to expand into providing American/Japanese cultural consulting for the New York business community.

Stack, fluent in written and spoken Japanese, is already giving English lessons to students in the area and keeps her language skills sharp by translating state tests into Japanese for elementary-level students in the Rye City School District. Stack feels both anxiety and excitement as she transitions from her identity as a full-time mother. "It's a new chapter," she said. "Actually, it's more like a new book." Lives in Transition will meet next on July 21. Email livesintransition@gmail.com for more info.

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