See the Toolkit in Action

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Change Learning is currently running a full time, six month program that utilizes all of the tools contained within the Discovering Strengths Toolkit.Change It Up! is a new approach to training and skills development that provides a hands-on way for youth to explore options, recognize their strengths and learn new skills. The program uses the four Discovering Strengths tools and build them into a program that  encourages youth to become "agents of change" within their own community—by undertaking real-life community action projects.

These community development projects provide an entirely different way to build skills, gain work experience and restore confidence.  The projects build on the self discovery and recognition of personal strengths that comes about through the use of the four tools.

Now in the second session, we are happy to report that the program has been a great success.  For starters, there was a retention rate of 92% in the first session and the second session now has a waiting list. Initial pilot testing results showed an increase in resiliency levels (as demonstrated through the Resiliency Questionnaire), positive shifts in factors such as restraint, planning and decision making and decreases in risk behaviours such as aggression, alcohol abuse and gambling.

Testimonials from the participants include feedback that the program has been life changing, that it has given them purpose and that it has given them the ability to think positively about their future and reduce destructive behaviours.  Substance abuse has dropped among participants and levels of hope for their future have increased.

Change it Up Program Video 2010

The program has also worked to build capacity in the community in several ways. Social capital has been developed through numerous community events, speakers and dinners.  As a result, interactions are occurring among groups of people who may not have interacted in the past.  Positive recreational opportunities for youth have been added through the various projects that participants developed, and businesses have been started to address gaps in services.

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