A TWO YEAR CUSTOMIZED PROGRAM
The intersection of poverty with issues of race amplifies the struggle for Black and Hispanic groups. Stress over raising children, paying bills and basic survival strips away one’s capacity to pour into themselves and their families in crucial ways, like health, fitness/nutrition, and mental and emotional wellness. Because the causation of poverty is not just finances, Connect & Serve’s holistic approach helps our members deal with the traumas of poverty. Too many people of color shoulder this burden for multiple generations. We seek to nurture their hopes, their creativity, and their dreams.
Three programs that are intentionally designed to impact the thinking and actions of members and participants:
Community Cafes & Conversation is a strategic platform used with the concept of “it takes a village”. Attendees gather to discuss relevant issues that concern them like barriers and challenges that hinder their success and the success of their families and communities. Through this venue, individuals collectively create solutions to problems that are impacting their daily lives. They receive resources and learn strategies to advocate for what they want and what they need in a safe and judgment free space. The dialogue is provocative and creates opportunities for everyone to be heard. Additionally, this program offers workshops in parenting, financial literacy, social emotional wellness and so much more.
Empowered to Change is for members of Connect & Serve two-year holistic program. Members are assigned a coach who works with them to deal with the causation of their own poverty: They receive coaching and mentoring as part of their accountability toolkit. In this program members are required to create their own pathway to wellness and prosperity with guidance from a team of professionals and experts who are committed to walk with them to their success. During this program year, members are working on transformation through self-reflection: discovery, challenge and change. They can create a pathway plan that includes nutrition/health and fitness, therapeutics like art and journaling as well as one on one counseling. Members can add education and career goals to their plan and Connect & Serve will match them with business mentors who will work with them on those goals.
Beyond the Wall is the final leg of our two-year program. Once a member is successfully demonstrating change, they are offered more opportunities to work on other parts of their personal and professional development. This could mean a job that is proving to be career driven. Access to higher education and ideas for those who desire to become entrepreneurs. Every individual has passions and skills that make them unique. Our partners seek to help personalize each member's two-year journey towards their strengths by supporting their courage to explore their life's possibilities. Our mentorship program creates a private space for our members to grow and discover where they are challenged to change as they define what success means to them. This holistic approach directly impacts the families of our members in a positive way by helping to break generational curses and transform our communities as they create their pathways from poverty to wellness and prosperity.
Connect & Serve is taking a revolutionary approach to the "win-win" concept. We know successful people do not achieve success on their own. They all have someone who believed in them and made the sacrifice to walk with them in their journey. At Connect & Serve, we along with our partners are that someone for our members. We are coaching and mentoring with training, skill building and other supports. As our small businesses and minority own businesses partners commit to Connect & Serve and to our members, they get an opportunity to build capacity and grow their businesses respectively.
Connect & Serve is not new, it is simply a rebranding of the work that Juanita White and her partners are already doing. For some, service to others is a job, but for the volunteers and leaders at Connect & Serve, it is a value system. Connect & Serve strives to take its programs to a higher level of holistic healing and to prove that welfare/welfare to work programs are not all there is. Once barriers are removed, wellness practices, skill-development, credit building, homeownership, entrepreneurship for members can bloom.