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Calendar >  GRADUATION DAY FOR WOMEN IN LEAP TO SUCCESS PROGRAM

GRADUATION DAY FOR WOMEN IN LEAP TO SUCCESS PROGRAM

By   /  June 11, 2017  /  No Comments

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Nadine Kaina …. I was invited to attend, Monday, June 5 to the inspiring ceremony, held in the United Methodist Church of Vista.

All guests were greeted by team members, as we parked our cars. The morning began with a welcome and introductions from the program’s team- Dana Bristol-Smith, Executive Director; Michele Cooney, Program Director; Kelley Grimes, Director of Community Engagement; and LaKesha Sexton, Leap to Success 2008 first program graduate – now an instructor.

The Leap to Success Program is a 7-week series of two-hour sessions of classroom meetings with homework activities. In this safe environment, women uplift each other as they build positive self-images and work towards their goals. The classroom is a “practice lab”, where women are given the skills and tools to recognize their own value, pursue their dreams, and impact their families and communities.

The 13 women of various ages, are overcoming domestic violence, mental or other health issues and homelessness. In 49 days, they learn how to develop new habits, use personal language, all to use with life skills in order to be successful.

This class, as all classes, are taught – how to make a plan, become employed, save money, continue education and be willing to do something different. In 2016 a milestone of 1,000 courageous women graduated.

Each graduate was invited to come before the attendees to tell what their goals are. Many tears were shed, while explaining what the women have gone through, survived, and are happy to have the opportunity to change their lives. One sang “rap” to explain her goals.

A book, “Heart Thoughts”, written by Louise Hay, was presented to each woman, along with a certificate and hugs. Many times, throughout the morning, hugs showing love and support were given.

Announced were financial and other charitable ways of support from UMCV, the Foundations of Issa Family and Melvin Garb; many businesses, organizations and clubs.  Further information can be found on their web site- www.LeapToSuccess.org

Community agencies refer women to attend – this class included women from California Department of Rehabilitation, Oceanside CalWorks, Interfaith Community Services, McAlister Institute, Mental Health Systems, North County Serenity House and Women’s Resource Center.

 

After graduating from the program, women are encouraged to attend monthly follow-up sessions in the organization’s Empowerment Circle. Many choose to stay engaged by doing community engagement and assisting in the classrooms or at events. Leap to Confidence graduates are Stepping Up, Speaking Out, and Changing the World!

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