Transforming the Impossible into Possible…
Clients Graduate from New Self-Empowerment Workshop
DuPagePads launched a new program, Transforming the Impossible into Possible (TIP), a self-empowerment, small group workshop aimed at increasing client’s positive outlook for the future. Recently, five participants graduated from the 12-session program.
“We started this program as a resource for our clients to increase their motivation to move forward with their employment goals and/or housing plans,” Lutisha Jefferson, DuPagePads Career Employment Solutions Director says,
Each session has a reflection and action component on specific topics including identity, forgiveness, goal setting, barriers, hopes, gratitude and many others.
Workshop activities included:
- Writing a letter to someone who you would like to forgive or be forgiven by;
- Creating a picture of where they would like to see themselves in six months to a year from now having conquered their barriers;
- Writing down a personal barrier to be put in a balloon and letting it go;
The TIP program was developed by Dr. Philip Hong and his research team at Loyola University Chicago. DuPagePads staff attended multiple trainings to be able to lead the sessions. This program was developed over 12 years of research and has been tailored for low-income job seekers, including the homeless, to transition from unemployment to employment.
Recently, the TIP program was included in the Mathematica Policy Research study as one of the top five innovative socio-emotional training programs in workforce development for low-income populations. This study was contracted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families/Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation to review impactful programs across the nation.
Feedback from the clients has been positive:
- “My experience with this program has been very positive. I’ve learned I’m stronger inside than I thought. My outlook in life and forecast for the future is much brighter.”
- “My take away is that showing emotion isn’t a bad thing. My confidence and self-worth is increasing and I’ve created a goal board…
…TIP helped me realize that I’ve been hurt so much, that I started to shut people out, thinking that I was protecting myself. However, all I was doing was isolating myself. I learned that some people may seem to have no regard for others, but it could be because they’ve been hurt and they don’t know how to properly deal with it.“
- “My experience with the TIP program was great, honestly I don’t want to see it end. From this experience I took away knowledge of where I can get help and what my triggers are. I learned that talking to others helps a lot. I now have a better understanding of who I am and ways to reduce stress.”
- “It was an enlightening experience: from increasing my self-worth to healing. I learned that I have a lot of hurt and pain to resolve and work through, but that everyone has issues in life and that is ok. Now I’m going to trust God and work to empower myself and others.”
At the recent graduation ceremony, participants were given their own special “Vision Basket” containing items that represented the goals they are working toward and personal affirmation statements from staff. Participants enthusiastically shared how they are now thinking about their future.
“In 1985 my license expired. I’ve had a lot of negativity and hurt in my life, including health challenges. I’ve found myself feeling hopeless. However, these sessions changed me like no other program I’ve done before and empowered me to find my self-worth. I learned I have a lot of forgiving to do and the hurt is still with me, but I’m excited about life and motivated to drive again.
Over the course of the program, I moved from using a wheelchair to a walker and a cane. I’m looking forward to getting my driver’s license back…and it’s because of this program,” Sandra, a TIP participant shared at the ceremony. Her Vision Basket included a driving manual among other affirmations. Within two days of the graduation, Sandra had obtained her driving permit, passing the written test with 100% and is on her way to obtaining her license.
Tashaunda McAfee, Client Service Center case manager who helped facilitate the sessions, addressed the TIP graduates, “Your journey doesn’t stop here. Today is the beginning…Thank you for your commitment to this program.”
With such a positive reception, the group will be holding another session starting this August in a six-week format, twice a week. “We will continue to follow up with our graduates on the goals they set and already 12 clients have signed up for the next session,” Lutisha shares.