The ADVANCE Model is an immersive program. The students are instructed and directed in real-world situations as they occur in the community. Supportive coaching coupled with repetition and emotional involvement create permanent and well-anchored results. From the experience of living in their own apartment to mastering the subtleties of a job search and acquisition, the students experience growth and an expanding sense of personal control. This process begins on Day 1, when students begin to live, shop, cook, move around the city, and manage their own schedule and finances. By the end of the first year, they are successfully navigating these everyday activities as they add skills related to employment, adult organization and prioritization, and professional communication. As they end their second year, they have held a job for several months, moved towards financial independence, and are socially integrated into the community. There is a defined starting and ending date to the program; sufficiently long to grow the student’s skills and self-image and necessarily short to maintain the focus on a life that goes beyond the two years of our program.
Residential two-year immersive program includes:
- Self-Advocacy Skills
- Safety and Security
- Physical and Emotional Health
- Time Management, Scheduling, Calendaring
- Communicating in an Adult Environment
- Budget Management
- Nutrition – Planning and Practice
- Home Maintenance
- Building Supportive Relationships
- Life Planning and Goal Orientation
- Job Search, Acquisition, and Retention Skills
The day after the ADVANCE Program ends represents one of our guiding principles – Day 731. Growing in maturity and independence happens incrementally over the two years a student works with our trainers, but it is proven when the program is complete. It can never be about the topics and challenges of our curriculum; We can only be judged successful when the student walks away aware and confident in their ability to succeed. At ADVANCE, everything we do is geared toward building skills and evaluating best practices that optimize a student’s growth into the person that they are meant to be. Our graduates strive to become contributing members of the community rather than relying solely on support from family members and government resources. Equipped with confidence, transferable skills, and the experiences of independence, our students are prepared to tackle any new learning environment or employment opportunity.
We are grateful for the continued support of our Community Partners who have supported ADVANCE from the beginning,
allowing us to establish ourselves as the only immersive transition program within the vibrant Houston community.