While Change it Up offers an incredible collection of high impact workshops, the magic of CiU is not just the “what” but the “how”. CiU recognizes that people with multiple barriers, limited support networks and those that have experienced trauma often need additional assistance to build inner resources before they can successfully build and maintain the outer resources needed for further training and employment.
CiU is built on the belief that self-development, barrier removal and cultivating a practice of self-care will build the necessary foundations for acquiring the skills needed for success, and ultimately for getting and keeping employment. CiU staff work with people on an individual basis to help them understand themselves, what motivates them, where they want to go and how they might get there. The program also provides participants with a set of concrete tools to build self-awareness, regulate their emotions and interact with others so they are better equipped for the journey. And better equipped with the skills they need to succeed over time. Not just to find employment the day after the program ends.
Change it Up is informed by a large body of research on how humans actually learn, how the brain can change and how people can mitigate the lasting effects of trauma to thrive in their own lives. This is where the richness of the program can be life changing. Learning by doing. Understanding that we are not born smart or stupid – but with an innate capacity to grow and change. Knowing that we can address the traumas we have stored in our minds and bodies and start to heal. Start to thrive. There are research-based ways to hack our brain/body patterns and responses to free us for really living our lives. For true success.
CiU is also relationship driven. The program helps participants develop belief in themselves because CiU staff believe wholeheartedly in them. And it might well be the first time in their lives that anyone has. It is about building trust and creating a safe and inclusive environment. Providing real support and walking alongside participants in their process. Not directing. Not telling. But supporting, encouraging and believing.
CiU is not about zero tolerance or three times and you’re out. It’s about understanding that we are all trying. We are all working with what we have. Sometimes people need more time, more chances and more support. Like quitting smoking, it rarely works the first time – or the third time. But maybe the seventh time is the magic number. Because you’re ready. Because now you have the mindset and the skills that you need. Because you have the support.
The Change it Up program is an intense collaboration of staff and participants. It builds connections, relationships, confidence and leaders. It strengthens individuals and the communities where they live. It changes lives.