By Chelsea Lacey-Mabe

COLLEGEVILLE, Pa. (CBS) — Kathy Opperman is trying to empower her community, one workshop at a time. Her non-profit, Pillars of Light and Love provides support groups and services to help children, teens and adults handle stress, cope with life and improve relationship skills.

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“It’s a safe place to come,” said Opperman about the Empower U Center, home of Pillars of Light and Love. Making the transition to a 501c(3) charity last year has allowed her to offer many services free of charge to people with a serious illness, disabled veterans and caregivers of those with special needs. Since then the center has been full of people in particular need of the center’s guidance.

Workshops held for kids and teens focus on strengthening their will to stand up against peer pressures.

“We believe if we can reach kids at a young age we could possibly prevent all of the addictions,” explained Opperman who has friends who have lost children to drug overdoses. They tackle issues like low self-esteem and jealousy. “Many adults that come to us have those same issues.”

In the past they’ve also hosted karaoke and other events for families with special needs.

Empowering U karaoke for families with special needs (credit: Kathy Opperman)

Empowering U karaoke for families with special needs (credit: Kathy Opperman)

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“We want to do those on a grander scale because the families tell us they don’t have a place to go where the kids and families can be themselves,” noted Opperman.

“Learning to Love Yourself” is one of the classes geared towards adults. Opperman says the program has found success in helping people go outside of their comfort zone.

Opperman has seen a lot of progress being made across all age groups. She’s trying to multiply her outreach with an event on Saturday from 1 to 4 p.m. for everyone ages six and up. The event is $5 for individuals or $10 per family.

The “Empowering U Day” will feature round-table discussions with themes like stress management, “the power of forgiveness,” “creating the life you want” and several more topics led by teachers and life coaches.

Opperman, a former nurse and current real estate broker is a certified life coach herself.

“Nobody teaches you life skills… that’s my mission.”

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Those interested in attending Saturday’s “Empowering U Day” can purchase tickets here.