2015 Grant Recipient- SELF
Project Name: Build-Up Academy
The Impact 100 grant provided SELF with the ability to expand and provide a greater number of Butler County residents with much needed home repairs. Along with this, SELF has been able to double the capacity of the Build-Up Academy program. This program has provided their clients the opportunity to enhance their job skills which increases their ability to build a better life for themselves and their families. SELF continues to celebrate the success of the Build-Up Academy program in assisting clients in advancing their job skills and wage-earning capacity. One of the unexpected successes was being able to assist so many clients who are in recovery programs. In Christina’s class (Build-Up 5) three graduates were recovering addicts; in the class after that (BU-6) 10 out of 14 graduates were in recovery. As her story below indicates, building self-image and confidence is as big a win as actually moving into a construction job.
Excerpts from Christina’s story:
“Opiate addiction took away my life.So at this time last year I was lost. I had no idea how I was going to repair the damage that had been done. I’m lucky to have the support from my family but they also had no idea how to help me. I had the opportunity to move into a recovery house for women and children. I moved in there on Nov. 1st (2016). This place allowed us to be safe and it gave me the chance to start working on myself.One of my counselors recommended the Getting Ahead Program through SELF. She said it was an organization that helps low income families, but that’s all she said. I decided to give it a try & this is where I met Ashley & Beth (SELF employees). This class was a good eye opener for me. I knew I had a lot of work to do to get back on my feet and this program helped put things into perspective. I knew that once I got back on my feet I didn’t want to just “GET BY”. I’m a single mother now and they helped me to start planning for my future. This class was challenging for me! I was still in treatment 4 days a week, working a part time job, taking care of my child & going to class 4 nights a week. Greg and John would help me with the construction math. Little did they know that even just solving a simple math problem was helping me feel more confident. I started to know my worth a little more each day. We would work out in the field one night a week. Our first night out in the field we re-built some porch steps. Later on, that month we got involved with building a ramp for a client that was disabled. I realized that I am helping to make a difference in someone’s life.This is where I started to feel like the old me again, I was happy to give back and help others. What I loved most about this class was that I’m not just learning how to swing a hammer…this class is more than that for me. Sometimes I think about what if I was never referred to SELF…that’s a scary thought for me because of what I’ve been through. I don’t know where I would be right now honestly. The programs and the people at SELF have made me feel like I’m not alone in this journey. They’ve given me hope, determination and my life back and I’m so grateful for the people here”.