Posted on The Independent: Thursday, April 25, 2019 12:00 am
Partners for Change (PFC) has announced a new collaboration with CAPE Head Start. A number of families in Livermore, Pleasanton and Dublin with children attending pre-school at CAPE have registered to participate in the fifth session of the program, starting later this month.
Partners for Change, headquartered in Livermore, matches each client with 2-4 volunteer mentors from the community, to work together in a partnership to help the client achieve his/her personal goals.
Twenty-five additional mentors are needed for this new session. Spanish language skills would be helpful, but not required. Mentors do not need any specific skills, just an open mind, an interest in learning about the issue of poverty, and a willingness to walk alongside people for 18-24 months to help them bring about positive change in their lives.
Partners for Change offers a two-part program for participants. The first segment consists of a life skills training program. A key product of this training is a personalized set of short, medium and long-term goals for each client. They are then matched with their mentors, and together they begin the hard work towards meeting those goals.
The importance of this program can be seen in the stories of two clients.
After 14 years of not working, Terri came to the program very sad, overwhelmed and unhappy with her life. Problems at home also impacted her children’s school performance. Terri set short-term and long-term goals and with the support of her mentors, made a plan to get her life back on track. One of Terri’s goals was to re-enter the workforce. Her mentors helped her fill out applications and practiced interviewing skills, which resulted in a job offer at a local retailer.
When Joe and Rachel joined Partners, they were dealing with serious medical problems that limited their ability to work. Their mentors helped Rachel quit smoking. They helped Joe with insurance forms in order to obtain the medical care he needed. This allowed him to work full-time. Next, they found better housing, and Joe landed a better job where he is earning enough to cover his expenses and regain his self-esteem. They also helped Rachel get a driver’s license. She is now planning to enroll at Las Positas College and work towards her goal of becoming a nurse. Rachel’s son enjoyed spending time with one of Rachel’s mentors and he is now doing much better in school.