As described in the second blog post in this series, @LIKE is designed to test several key innovations to improve postsecondary and workforce access and success for disconnected young adults. They include:
- A focus on self efficacy and resiliency. Trained Life Coaches develop relationships and activities that help young people build the internal resources of self confidence (self efficacy) and the ability to ‘bounce back’ when things do not work out (resiliency).
- Streamlined up-front processes. Using self attestation and other strategies to ensure that services begin the day the young adult shows up.
- Wraparound services that are intensive in nature and ensure that each young adult is engaged in face to face interaction with Life Coaches or Case Managers for a minimum of four hours a week (at least at the beginning).
- Ensuring that all young adults in the program earn the National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC).
- Allowing young adults to move in and out and back again to the program without exiting until they are determined to be a successful completer.
- Focus on older young adults, who require different strategies and ways to engage.
The following are the unedited and unprompted answers young adults who participate in @LIKE provided to a series of questions about the program. These young adults range in age from 18 to 26, and the young adults over 24 began the program when they were 24 or younger and are still engaged.
Listen to the students themselves in this short video: http://goo.gl/Qr4lWo
When you first heard about @LIKE, what made you want to enroll in the program?
- When I first heard about the program, what made me want to enroll was the promise and the commitment the program was offering to me and for me to be able to go back to school and finish and of course hearing about the work experience. Adrian O, 25
- In order to be a part of the CBK [Come Back Kids] school program, I needed to enroll into @LIKE and I must say it was one of the best things that has happened. It empowers teens/young adults, such as myself, as well as provides them with the tools for success. It’s an amazing program and a promising one. Cheyenne J, 18
- When I first hear of @LIKE I was skeptical at the idea of a program that would help me start my adult life with opportunities for a great future, one where I can easily support family, friends, or simply those in need. Julio P, 18
How did @Like address your challenges and help you?
- @LIKE addressed my challenges by providing life coaching sessions. Getting me out of my comfort zone and making me pursue more ways to achieve my goals. @Like helped me to get out there and keep striving to achieve and get the job that I once thought I wouldn’t have. Viviana J, 26
- My challenges have been met to a full level of greatness. I’m gonna say before the program I had difficulties looking for a job. And since I’ve been in the program I’ve achieved many certificates that have helped me in life. I now have a job, my GED, and soon my HS diploma thanks to the awesome help and assistance with the @LIKE program. Adrian O
What are the things that made a difference for you in being in @LIKE? What parts of the program worked for you?
- Life coaching, I believe, is one of the biggest parts in @LIKE. It helps you clear your mind and think more positively. Case managers also help you a lot in the way that they are always there for you. Also that they help you with mock interviews. Viviana J
- One of the main things that made a difference for me in being in @LIKE was the life coaching. It really helped keep me focused on my goals and keep moving forward in a positive direction. Jeannie V, 23
What are some of the things you have accomplished in @LIKE?
- Participated in many certificate programs, had an internship at the Eastern Municipal Water District, went back to college, got a fulltime job at the Amazon warehouse. Marcos M, 25
- I have completed some certificate classes, completed and passed the NCRC, gained good work experience from an internship, and gotten back into school. Josue D
- Some of the things I accomplished in @LIKE were the completion of Microsoft office workshop and Work Readiness. I received certificates for both. I am also enrolled in the CBK program [Come Back Kids], which I am in the process of getting a diploma and so far I finished 11.5 credits in one month. @LIKE gives me the drive to succeed and be a better person. Cheyenne J
What keeps you staying in @LIKE?
- What keeps me staying in @LIKE is the fact that I still have access to life coaching. Also, all the staff members continue to help in any way possible for me to obtain a job on my own. Jeannie V
- The help that my coach and center provide such as telling me of any job openings, helping me apply for higher education and helps me in my personal problems with coaching sessions. Josue D
- Basically it is my life coach who keeps me staying in the @LIKE program. My coach is there for me when I am going through tough times and good times. The relationship built between us really made a difference. Marcos M
- It keeps me focused and thinking about maintaining a goal. Alec C, 18
What could be improved in @LIKE? What would help other young adults?
- There can be improvements made, ones that would make students feel as if they were always caught up with helpful news; I am talking about social media, a more organized social media outlet would keep us informed in an organized manner. Julio P
- To better use internet advertising to better spread the program. Alec C