Pat Petznick Continues Legacy with $1M Gift, Naming of Fresh Start Education Center

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.”

During the event, Petznick made an 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 curriculum and courses 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,” Petznick said. “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,” written by founding board member Marlene Klotz Collins. The book is a heartfelt tribute to Fresh Start’s 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.

For more behind this Frontdoor, visit

About Karen Werner

Karen Werner is the editor of Frontdoors Media. She is a writer, editor and media consultant. She has interned at The New Yorker, worked at Parents Magazine, edited five books and founded several local magazines. Her work has appeared in Sunset, Mental Floss and the Saturday Evening Post.
More in: News

From Frontdoors Magazine

Back to Top