A new and exciting program launched by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service will offer local young adults free relationship, financial and parenting workshops.
The program, known as Success…powered by YOU [SPY], will provide informational virtual classes and some person-to-person workshops for 18-24 year-olds living in Brazos, Burleson, Grimes, Madison and Robertson counties. SPY was established this year by a grant from United States Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families.
“Our workshops are normally two hours long, once a week, for approximately six weeks. We also provide a free lunch or dinner for our person-to-person workshop participants,” said Chasitdy Love, program coordinator for Brazos and Grimes Counties.
The “healthy relationships” portion of the program, known as Within My Reach, provides effective ways for couples and individuals to communicate and solve problems when conflicts arise. The parenting class, known as Common Sense Parenting, focuses on discipline tactics and stress management. With financial management, or Money Smart, participants can learn financial awareness and money math, gaining an understanding of credit and budgeting, as well as retirement planning.
“Our primary focus is healthy relationships. The Within My Reach curriculum was specifically written for young adults and individuals. There is a big focus on safe relationships and defining what is a safe relationship and what is an unsafe relationship. Most people know how to determine their physical safety, but we also teach on how to evaluate emotional safety,” said Laurie Naumann, project director.
Participants can received up to $230 incentive after completion of all workshops.
The program is not a form of one-on-one counseling, but rather an educational resource, although SPY partners with various organizations and nonprofits in the area and are able to make recommendations for those in need of help. “We are trying to face and address people’s problems before they occur, and provide resources for those people to maintain that,” said Love.
Love explained that when AgriLife first initiated the program, a major goal was to serve the public with dignity and to provide valuable resources to young adults through a structured, but relaxed environment. While resources already exist for families going through struggles, many people don’t want to be labeled as low-income, in need, troubled or identified based on a particular issue.
“You can never have enough preventative counseling and prevention programs,” Love said. “But there is a need for this type of program in the Brazos Valley without a stigma attached.”
All of SPY’s workshops are free! The program also partners with numerous local churches, school districts, health centers and nonprofits that can provide additional resources for participants.
For more information about the SPY program or workshops, call 979.321.5248, firstname.lastname@example.org or their website: families.tamu.edu.