MJE believes that poverty is the root cause of violence. MJE’s goal-oriented, trauma-informed, leadership and workforce trainings are designed to support each participant’s personal recovery from trauma as well as their future career and academic achievements. Importantly, we also aim to engage our participants in civic action so that they can be the voice of change in our communities.
MJE’s operating model hinges on two key mechanisms: 1) Education empowers MJE members by providing the leadership tools they need to take action and make change; and 2) Engagement includes public actions and campaigns that challenge the normalization of violence, providing members with opportunities to act as catalysts for change at home and advocates for change in their community.
The Education Track programs operate on a continuum of service:
- Step 1) You Matter Personal Leadership training supports mothers and youth recovering from trauma to set personal goals and understand the role they can play in combating violence and associated issues in their community;
- Step 2) Financial Literacy training provides mothers and youth, as well as incarcerated young adults, with the tools to understand how their financial empowerment will help them achieve their personal goals; and
- Step 3) Workforce Readiness Trainings in tracks leading to sustainable employment in fields such as family services, human resources, administrative, fundraising, community relations, and much more. Graduates of this program are Peer Advocates, prepared to support their families, peers, and communities.
MJE has spent the past three years building out the Education work which has resulted in a strong Alumni Network of 100 women who are now trained to hold jobs within MJE and the community. Their role at MJE provides an opportunity to put their training into practice; in fact, almost all current staff at MJE are program participants. Furthermore, the Alumni Network provides MJE with hands-on volunteers and provides the Alumni with real-time workforce opportunities preparing them for sustainable employment.