At YWCA Greater Lafayette, we have been providing services to our community for 94 years, adapting and changing to meet the needs of our community. Our goal has always been to identify barriers, provide resources and support, and advocate for meaningful and systemic change. Through our years of service, we recognized the need for more proactive and empowering services to help individuals break down those barriers that have been erected through no fault of their own.Generational poverty often leads to violence, victimization, homelessness, limited access to quality education and employment, and more. At YWCA Greater Lafayette, we believe that earning a living wage is a fundamental human right. That’s why we partnered with Google to create STRIVE, a workforce development program that delivers digital skills training, essential workplace skills, and empowerment pieces to help every participant feel confident in their own skills, strengths, and abilities. Delivered through the lens of economic and racial and social justice, STRIVE aims to open a dialogue where participants feel empowered to share their experiences and join YWCA in its mission. Each session takes approximately two hours to complete and includes a slide deck, a complete facilitator narrative, and suggestions for large and small group activities. Each session also includes an assignment to be completed by the participants either during the session or as homework, with the facilitator determining if assignments are mandatory or optional.
Participants of STRIVE will earn a professional certificate of completion, leave with an improved resume and cover letter, and can access outfitting services through Dress for Success Greater Lafayette after securing an interview or employment. To earn the STRIVE professional certificate, participants must complete 60 hours of STRIVE programming.STRIVE provides participants with a number of resources in the areas of community engagement, financial empowerment, relationships, parenting, employment, and racial and social justice. Additionally, STRIVE offers case management, coaching, and mentorship, as well as guest speakers to talk with participants during in-person sessions about their personal experiences and areas of expertise.
The STRIVE Core Curriculum focuses on basic digital skills, financial literacy, job coaching, resume building, interviewing, building confidence, and teaching other hard skills. Hard skills are important because they increase employee productivity and efficiency and subsequently improve employee satisfaction. The Thrive in the Workplace Curriculum focuses on soft skills, such as interpersonal skills, communication skills, listening skills, time management, and empathy, and more. Hiring managers typically look for job candidates with soft skills because they make someone more successful in the workplace. Facilitators work to encourage participants to identify their own soft and hard skills to include in an updated resume and develop strategies for utilizing and discussing these skills with potential employers.
At YWCA Greater Lafayette, we believe that everyone deserves an equitable world with equal access to opportunities and resources, safe and stable environments, and the freedom to be who they are. STRIVE is just one way we are working to make that belief a reality. Click here for more information about our STRIVE program.
We are always looking for volunteers to help facilitate our STRIVE program and in many other areas, as well. If you are interested in volunteering at YWCA, fill out the information form here.