Residents Poised for Success with Smart Transitions Training

August 14, 2018

Ten residents recently completed training to help them launch successfully into adult independence and work. Smart Transitions, a curriculum developed for at-risk youth by the Together We Can Foundation, will soon be available to all teen residents at The Barry Robinson Center.

Residents in this inaugural class served as the Center’s beta test group for the training. Smart Transitions training has been delivered to several thousand youth in southeastern Virginia since 2011.

Tom Crockett, executive director of the Foundation, taught the Center’s class and developed strong connections with the residents. During the final session and celebration on Saturday, August 11, he helped residents compile personal portfolios and reminded them of key take-aways from the class.

Each resident built a personal portfolio

“The ability to present yourself professionally to other people is a really important life skill, and it’s a skill that accounts for most of your success,” he said.

The portfolios are an integral part of the Smart Transitions Life-Work Portfolio course. Residents explored career options, created resumes and personal brands, and developed interviewing skills. They also received professional portrait photographs for their portfolios.

“Think about who you are and who you want to be. Through this course, each one of you has connected to who you really are and your unique gifts, life experiences and talents,” Crockett encouraged. “These are showing up in your portfolios and will be part of the story you’re telling.”

Crockett’s connections to the residents were evident as he passed out letters of recommendation he wrote for them. Each resident read one personalized paragraph about themselves, which was a powerful affirmation of their interests, abilities and talents.

Residents voiced positive reviews of the training. “Definitely keep it. I was trying to apply for jobs and felt like I was lost. Now I know more about how to do it,” one young man said. “Having a job will give us more structure and stability after we leave,” said another teen. “It’s nice to have reinforcement of the life skills class that the education department offers,” a young lady shared.

Parents at the event also offered compliments. “We’re really impressed with this training. We look at a lot of resumes from older applicants, 25 and 26 years old, that are not nearly as good as these ones. We interview and hire a lot, and we agree the initial presentation is so important,” a resident’s mother said.

Rob McCartney, the Center’s CEO, congratulated the residents on their accomplishment. In keeping with the Center’s military-connectedness, he presented each resident with a “challenge coin,” to reward their hard work and excellence.

TESTIMONIALS

One family's story from crisis to hope. We are your typical American family; happily married parents, four kids, and a dog. In the early weeks of 2016, we found ourselves in a family crisis like none other we had …
What a great performance today by the Voices of Pride! Everyone really enjoyed the singing performance by the children. The BRC children were respectful and helpful to the staff and residents at The Memory Center. …
I just want to let you know how much I appreciate the communication from The Barry Robinson Center. It makes me happy that I am able to feel comfortable calling Rodney and asking these questions, getting his …
I wanted to respond to your email once I arrived home and got situated. I had a wonderful trip. Everything couldn't have gone better if I had planned it. Every interaction that I had with staff, my time with my …
I want to thank you all. I have met a few families at the Ronald McDonald House staying there to tour The Barry Robinson Center and I've told them how amazing you all have been and the amazing difference you've made with …
I am sitting at the airport in Virginia thinking about the wonderful weekend I spent with my daughter. It was not perfect, and started a bit rocky, but the recovery was quick which enabled us to spend some quality time …
We were tremendously impressed and ultimately picked BRC because of your rapid and thorough intake. Thank you so much for all that you do!
I want to thank you for the warm welcome you and your staff gave my family yesterday. The professionalism and understanding of a difficult transition really helped. My family has experienced many such events, and this …
We’ll be there in the morning. Can’t wait to bring our son home!! Thank you so much for everything. I feel like I have my sweet little boy back.
We can't thank you all enough for how seamless you made the whole process. From the moment we started our interactions with BRC we have felt extremely well-cared for and important. We did not feel as though our son was …
My wife and I write this letter of reference for The Barry Robinson Center expressing our complete support for their therapeutic services provided to children and adolescents dealing emotional and mental conditions …
I know our journey is far from over in this battle with mental health, but I am forever grateful to you and your staff for helping us out of crisis mode and giving us hope for a future. I know each employee plays a part …
I wish I knew how to better express my heartfelt gratitude and the indebtedness I feel towards you. You believed in my son when no one else did. You saw the good in him when no one else could see past the outbursts and …
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