News & Politics

Washingtonians of the Year 2007: Ludy Green

For 36 years, The Washingtonian has honored men and women who give their time and talents to make this a better place for all of us. They find ways to enrich the lives of everyone they touch.

Photograph by Matthew Worden.

Like too many children, Ludy Green grew up with domestic violence.

As a congressional intern, she helped with childcare at My Sister’s Place, a women’s shelter. And as a human-resources professional, she volunteered for women’s and children’s causes. She found that to escape abuse, women need financial stability and the ability to achieve it.

In 2002, Green left the corporate world to start Second Chance Employment Services, which gets battered women that stability through well-paying jobs. It is, she believes, the only such placement agency in America.

Second Chance helps clients write résumés, practice interviews, and find new suits, childcare, or transportation. Drawing on her contacts with employers from IBM and Marriott to hospitals and associations, Green has encouraged recruiters to look at her clients first. She’s brought in career coaches, makeup consultants, and even a dentist and a surgeon who replaced one client’s knocked-out teeth and repaired another’s scars—at no cost.

So far Green has placed 473 abused women and helped more than 1,000 with legal aid, job training, psychological services, and more. With new offices in New York and LA, she is reaching even more women and employers.

“However long I live, I want to do this,” she says. “I never want to see another woman who’s financially trapped. I couldn’t help my mom, but I always knew someday I would help other women.”