Just days into spring, a new season is beginning for a group of women in the Chicago area looking to ‘level up’.

“It’s a day that they could feel beautiful, that they could get the resources we have to go out there and conquer that job interview or level up in the job they have now,” Arsiak Vartentian of Smart is the New Sexy said.

Vartinean is a real estate entrepreneur who has made a name for herself giving back as of late. Her focus on families and women in charitable causes has made a local impact during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Her call for applications for the workshop drew significant interest, where Vartinean selected five women for the in-person program, designed to update and inspire.

Women participating in the program are also getting help with resumes, finances and online profiles.

“Especially with 2020, it was such a challenge for so many of us and I don’t want to keep harping on 2020 but it is, and we’re still in it. We’re still all in masks, we’re still in this pandemic and so many emotions and people have had time to sit down and really reflect on themselves,” Vartinean said.

One of the five women is Jessica Rodriguez, who after years in non-profit work is taking steps to make sure she’s on the right track.

“For me, as a woman of color having other women of color supporting, I think it’s really powerful. I want to just make sure that what I do is purposeful and impacting someone,” Rodriguez said.

An impact that can still alter a lifetime’s outlook in a world full of constant change.

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