Over 1,000 New Yorkers come through STRIVE’s door every year. In 2012, 221 graduated from our CORE Attitudinal and Job Readiness training and 184 of those completed our occupational skills training. We served 120 youth through our youth programs and 82 men in our fatherhood program.
Read what happened at STRIVE in 2012 in our Annual Report.
Hear from our graduates themselves what resulted from their STRIVE experience:
Suzette immigrated to America with her parents from Jamaica when she was 8 years old. A high-achieving student, she enrolled in Pace University, but needed to drop out her junior due to financial difficulties. Suzette enlisted in the United States Military and was promoted several times, ultimately being trained as an electrician. However, after completing her service, Suzette returned to New York City and found herself unable to gain entrance to a union or find a job that could support her and her young son.
Suzette enrolled in STRIVE and went on to become the manager of the litigation department at a law firm and earn a Bachelor’s degree. However, fourteen years later, in 2011, the company restructured and Suzette’s position was phased out. Unemployed and with outdated skills, Suzette returned to STRIVE and enrolled in Office Skills training. “It was helpful to re-focus my energy, set new goals, and strive for more,” Suzette said of returning to STRIVE. Today, with her newfound knowledge of Microsoft Office, Suzette is employed in a law office as File Room Supervisor and received a salary increase twice during her first six months of employment.
Onza came out of six and a half years in prison determined in get a fresh start on his life. After struggling through several other training programs, Onza was introduced to STRIVE. He enrolled and completed STRIVE’s signature CORE Attitudinal and Job Readiness training. Two weeks after graduation, he found a job working as a truck driver for a meat delivery company. Today, he has been employed for nearly a year, received two raises, and recently became a union member with Local 342.
“STRIVE is a great place to find out who you really are,” Onza wrote of his time in our program. “It allowed me to know that I’m not the only one dealing with many struggles in life. This place is giving me the opportunity to grow in areas of my life that are of greater importance. I thank you at STRIVE for giving me this chance to grow, and achieve higher growth and potential in my life.”
For Dinee, the decision to change her life came during her last incarceration. Her father had a stroke while she was locked up. When she was taken in chains to visit him in the hospital, she broke down at her father’s begging her to “please get your life together.” Determined to start afresh, she enrolled in a drug treatment program as an alternative to jail. She completed the program in two years and was eager to get going with her new life.
Unfortunately, finding employment with two felonies proved immensely difficult. Dinee was handed a flyer for STRIVE one day and thought, “what could it hurt?” She hated the first day, where she was yelled at by the STRIVE trainers. But, she came back and now says STRIVE “saved my life.” Two weeks after graduation, Dinee was hired by one of STRIVE’s employer partners, Great Green Cleaning, and ten months later is still employed. “Everything they taught me I began to use in my every day life,” Dinee says those same trainers who once yelled at her. “I saw the change in my life, my attitude changed, everything changed! STRIVE promised me nothing but tools to better my life. I love STRIVE, I love the people at STRIVE.”