Youth Case Manager Erin Harwood had plenty to say about each and every one of the 17 young people who graduated from Hartford STRIVE’s first youth program.
All of the graduates got a certificate, a hug and a personalized speech by Erin, calling out what is special about them and their five weeks at STRIVE:
“A heart like a lion….Strength of character….Showed me honesty and intergity…A devoted mother, a wonderful father….I have no doubt she will succeed…Takes accountability for her actions….Reliable…Someone I can count on…”
Each graduate also gave a short speech sharing their story and what they learned. Goals include opening a bakery, becoming an ObGyn or an electrician, joining the military.
They had just completed the STRIVE life skills program offered by Career Resources in partnership with the Capitol Region Education Council. They now move on to 25 more weeks of training at CREC where basic skills instruction will be combined with construction training in a contextualized learning model.
Career Resources President/CEO Scott K. Wilderman delivered the keynote address and reminded the graduates to strive for their dreams and not avoid setting high goals for fear of failure. He also reminded them that as STRIVE graduates they are now part of a worldwide network, and can look to help from STRIVE affiliates throughout the United States and in England, Israel and Scotland.
“Wherever you go, look for a STRIVE, and they’re there to help you find a job,” he said.
STRIVE is generously supported by donors including the Traveler’s, the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, the Aurora Foundation and the United Illuminating company.
STRIVE is usually offered to adults as a full-time, three-week attitudinal job readiness program that personally engages students and calls on them to examine their own behavior, while it explains an employer’s expectations and offers students support, Case Management, and job placement assistance. The program is open to all individuals regardless of education or work history. In Connecticut, Career Resources offers STRIVE in Bridgeport, New Haven and Hartford.
Last Friday’s gradation marked the first cycle of a new STRIVE program for youth, serving students aged 14 and older. A cycle for youth is also underway in Bridgeport and both Bridgeport and Hartford will offer other classes for youth this year. For information about call (860) 560-0378 in Hartford, (203) 953 3266 in Bridgeport; or (203) 777-1720 in New Haven.