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Navigating Independence: Connie's Journey at the Step Up Independent Living Program.

Hey there, readers! Get ready to dive into the ins and outs of life at the Step Up Independent Living program. In this blog, we're giving you a firsthand account of what it's intended to be like from the perspective of a youth.

Meet Connie – a fictional character who'll take you on a rollercoaster ride through the highs, lows, and everything in between. Buckle up as we explore the transformative journey through Connie's eyes and discover the essence of the Step Up Independent Living program. Let's get started!

Young woman writing

Hey, I'm Connie. Today, I'm spilling the deets on my journey with the Stepping Stones program, dishing out the highs, lows, and how it totally flipped the script for me. It's more than just steps – it's the ticket to my independence and a brighter future. So, join me as I share about my experiences and victories, sharing how the Step Up program has played a key role in shaping my story.

Steps 1: Laying the Foundation

Starting in Level 1A, the routine was a grind, but it had to be done. Checking in between 8 and 10 PM became my new normal, and tackling room and common room chores felt like a mini win. Weekly meetings with Mel, our housing manager, were my go-to for guidance and pep talks. The HiSET goal brought on some academic hustle, but it was a step toward something bigger. On the first floor, getting into my room and the common area was a keycard affair, adding an extra layer to my journey based on the step I was in.

In Step 1B, scoring access to my room at 7:00 PM felt like a game-changer. It was freeing. Life Skills Class and crafting a career plan gave me a fresh perspective on what's possible.

Moving on to Step 1C, the game got a bit more intense. With 21 days to move up, I had to check in every night by 10 PM (doors opened at 6:30 PM), allowing just one excused absence. Completing room and common room chores were still a daily ritual. Weekly meetings with Mel continued, and I delved into one unit of Life Skills Class for. Crafting a career plan was still on the agenda, and for those aiming for HiSET, completing 5 units by Friday at noon was the target. And, of course, finding employment and working one full week (20 hours) were the key moves to level up.

Steps 2: Building Skills and Independence

Step 2A was about embracing responsibility. With room access kicking in at 4:00 PM, those extra hours opened up my evenings. The big reward? In Step 2A, you can sleep in all weekend if you want! Rent payments on Fridays added a dose of financial responsibility. Clocking in 20 hours a week at work became a crucial stepping stone. 

Stepping into Step 2B, the stakes were higher, and the challenge was real. Demanding 25 hours of work per week for 30 days, it was a push, but every hour invested felt like a direct step towards independence. The grind was on, and the reward was tangible progress. Nailing down my career plan during this phase not only added structure but provided me with a clear roadmap for the future. This period became a pivotal moment, pushing hard to get to Step 3 with its additional freedoms and opportunities on the horizon.

Step 3: Reaching New Heights

Entering Step 3 marked a significant leap. With 24/7 building access and a personal room, the journey towards independence felt more tangible than ever. And the excitement doesn't end there. Moving up to the second floor, exclusive access to a kitchen and recreation room awaits. These spaces are dedicated exclusively to the youth in Step 3, adding a whole new level of freedom and camaraderie to the journey. It's not just a step forward; it's a giant leap towards independence and a brighter future.

Beyond the Levels: Navigating Independence

Beyond the structured levels, the Step Up program isn't just about checking boxes; it's about self-discovery and empowerment. It's about gaining skills, building resilience, and finding hope in the process. For me, it's not just a program; it's a journey toward a new chapter in my life.

Embracing a New Chapter

The Stepping Stones program has been like my sidekick in this journey—structured just right and with support that's as solid as a rock. It's not just a stepping stone; it's more like a GPS, guiding the way for all of us ready to jump into a fresh chapter in our lives. 

And here's the deal – the support doesn't cut off once you've conquered the program. Even after crossing the finish line, the Stepping Stones squad has your back, serving as a constant source of encouragement and assistance. It's not just about taking steps; it's about gearing up for the adventure ahead, and the support crew is right there with you, ready to roll. 


Now, as we conclude Connie's transformative journey with Stepping Stones, we're reaching out to our amazing community to join us in making a difference in the lives of youth like Connie.

Consider supporting Stepping Stones and our incredible youth by participating in one of our engaging raffles, joining us at an upcoming event, or making a donation. Your involvement directly contributes to creating opportunities, providing mentorship, and offering resources that pave the way for these young individuals to become self-sufficient adults.

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