Programs and Model

From the beginning, every Participant is paired with an Advisor to create an empowering and trusting relationship, which is essential to building selfpower and confidence in order to reach goals. The first steps in the program involve stabilization, strengths-finding, and career counseling to build a personal plan for gaining more education and training. Our model has built-in resources, so Participants can be successful in their journey towards a better future. Our ultimate goal is for families to live a completely different life through the power of education and a targeted career path.

Our Model

Project Self-Sufficiency serves approximately 160 low-income families each year. The program targets families who earn below 185% of the Federal Poverty Level and have children aged thirteen or younger living in the home more than fifty percent of the time. Ninety-six percent (96%) of single parents enrolled are mothers and 4% are fathers. Seventy-two percent (72%) of program participants are Caucasian, 21% are Latina/o, and 7% identify as other.

The selfpower model engages families in four stages of growth by providing intensive, personalized intervention through a one-on-one relationship with highly skilled Advisors.

DISCOVER

New Participants are supported in efforts to stabilize their family’s situation including securing and maintaining housing, food, healthcare, childcare, transportation and other immediate needs. During the first year of enrollment, Advisors also support parents in completing a comprehensive career planning curriculum that includes assessments, the development of a career template, and research using a variety of platforms. Participants complete their career profile by calculating their Self-Sufficiency Wage which helps them determine their forecast budget to support their family without any public assistance. Participants are guided in matching their career profile with career options then interview and shadow professionals working in careers of interest. Once a final career decision is made, Participants determine whether adult education or training is necessary to accomplish their goals and visit appropriate institutions to learn about related degrees and certifications.  During this stage, Participants discover they have the selfpower to build a new career path and create a vibrant future for their family.

Strengthen

Advisors work with Participants to outline a year-over-year plan detailing which classes they will take, when they will engage in an internship, and when they need to apply to competitive training programs. Participants develop a budget to determine their financial needs while enrolled in school or training programs and are assisted with applying for financial aid and scholarships. Support from the Healthy Families Program also provides a safety net for basic needs such as transportation, housing, and child care while parents are pursuing their education. Students who experience academic challenges receive encouragement, tutoring support, learning evaluations and tools for study skills. Advisors advocate on behalf of Participants who need extra supports on campus or have life circumstances that negatively impact their academic performance or financial aid. We also provides services to children in the program including the Boundless Children’s Fund which funds extracurricular activities such as karate and gymnastics, holiday sponsorship, the “Cool Kids” back-to-school clothing program, and funding for counseling and therapy with community partners. Through these activities, families strengthen and grow their selfpower.

Actualize

Participants engage in job search activities during the final eighteen months of their education/training. They work closely with an Advisor to develop resumes and cover letters, research potential employers, secure internships and volunteer experiences, and network within their chosen career field. Project Self-Sufficiency has developed a Career Connections Committee comprised of community volunteers who meet with participants to mentor them with internship and job placements. The program also provides connections to internship placements, scholarships and child care assistance to support unpaid work experience. Families continue to access Healthy Families Programs to build upon family health and well-being. Participants tap into their selfpower to make the right connections and overcome fears related to their job search.

Launch

Once Participants secure their first job in their career field, they are provided with tools to monitor their new budget, engage with their employer, and transition to greater self-sufficiency. They use the skills, resources, and selfpower gained while in the program to maintain employment and family stability and lead successful lives. Not only are they charting new paths, but they are leading their kids to brighter futures.

OUR STRATEGIES

The goal of Project Self-Sufficiency is to create opportunities for single parent families to become selfpowered by providing intensive support to parents who are ready to build new career pathways.

This is achieved through the following strategies:

  • Effective partnerships between single parents and skilled Advisors
  • A customized career planning curriculum
  • Calculation of a Self-Sufficiency Wage for each family
  • Built-in accountability tools that outline objectives and timeframes for each Participant
  • Support for adult education and training through advisement, programs and funds
  • A focus on increasing family health and stability through the Healthy Families Program
  • An intensive career placement curriculum
  • Community outreach and education regarding the needs of single parents