What is Neighborhood Ministries?
Neighborhood Ministries believe the answer to overcoming barriers means embracing the whole family, holistically loving and serving them, and building cycles of hope in tangible ways into their lives and for their futures. Neighbors at Work's Level Up Workforce Program exists to respond to the unique needs of youth, ages 16-24, towards obtaining employment, re-engaging in school, preparing for post-secondary education, connecting to industry-focused education and training programs, and providing career pathways that lead to long-term career development opportunities. Neighbors at Work helps teens and young adults prepare for and succeed in college, work and in life! If you are or know a 16-24 year old that would like to reach the next level of employment or education, please start by filling out an interest form here.
At a JAG All-Staff meeting, Neighborhood Ministries expressed interest in hosting a JAGWorks program after learning about the work of various Phoenix-based JAG programs that support Arizona youth. The 3-Day Leadership Bootcamp, hosted at the Neighborhood Ministries campus, was proposed as an introductory JAG program for Central Phoenix youth.
Because the three days of training were facilitated across a three-week period, each 2-hour meeting was jam-packed with information and activities. Each week began with an Icebreaker to build community, followed by short lectures and activities. Individual and group activities included Marshmallow Towers, personal skills list-building, and interpersonal bingo. All participants were able to review the material and work through activities on Chromebooks generously maintained by the Neighborhood Ministries campus team.
The first training, held on September 7th, was aptly named Building Healthy Relationships. There were 11 participants facilitated by JAG Social Service Program Coordinator, Kasarah Abdella. Kasarah facilitated the participants through topics related to leadership and self development, addressing a number of competencies that are built into the JAG program. These included demonstrating team leadership, sharing presentations with a group, and competing successfully with others.
The next meeting, held on September 17th, was titled Future Focus. Throughout this workshop, the youth practiced their skills in introductions, presenting, and teamwork as they worked through Human Bingo. They also worked to identify their personal value system, decision-making process, and goals using the SMART technique and a personal vision board.
On September 21st, the team met for their third meeting, titled Everyone Got Skillz. During this portion of the training, the participants brought together all they had learned. They began the final meeting by working to complete the vision boards they began during week 2 to reflect their short and long-term goals. To close the 3-Day Leadership Bootcamp, they completed a Resume-Building Workshop with Troy Maskell from Goodwill.
JAG is proud to report that this workshop was a success. Through the training evaluations, participants shared feedback including “everything was well-rounded” and “great energy”. They requested further programming in Central Phoenix to continue identifying their career interests, personal path to success, and college education prep. One of our favorite quotes from an anonymous participant about the training: “I liked this because it told me how I can be more me.”
What comes next?
Jobs for Arizona’s Graduates is an education empowerment program focused on supporting Arizona youth. We hope to continue partnering with Neighborhood Ministries to support the Central Phoenix youth community that they serve. Together we hope to bring further programming and a potential JAG Works program to Central Phoenix to continue helping youth discover their purpose and find how they can “be more them”.