GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) — Motivating, equipping, and empowering people to find a better life. That is the mission of a nonprofit called StepUp Greensboro. With the help of the Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro, the agency is helping people make positive changes in their lives.
“We believe that every individual deserves an opportunity to enjoy life and to be successful, and we do that through training them and helping them build healthy relationships,” says StepUp Greensboro’s Executive Director, Anthony Bass. “It’s just important that an individual regardless of unemployment, underemployed, homeless, whatever their status may be, they still deserve to have an opportunity to enjoy life.”
At StepUp Greensboro, that opportunity comes with the chance to rekindle dreams that may have gotten lost along the way, but Bass says participants have to put in the work and the effort to make a lasting change and find success. “We can’t promise jobs, right? Because you got to do the application, you’re going to have to do, you know, make sure you got a good resume,” says Bass. “You’re going to go to the interview. But what we do promise is that their lives will never be the same because they are having an opportunity to step up into their life, step up to their future, be able to enjoy life and get tools as lifetime lasting. So why come to StepUp Greensboro? Because you’re ready and willing for change. If you’re ready, willing for change, StepUp Greensboro is a place to be.”
Change starts with intensive job training that includes traditional resume-building and interviewing skills. There’s a wardrobe closet so that job candidates can look their best when they’re ready to go on interviews. But the training goes deeper.
Bass says “thinking you know, understanding how your intellect over your emotions, right? So, our emotions get us in a lot of bad ways and probably losing some jobs and opportunities that we’ve had. We talk about values. We want to make sure they understand who they are and their worth.”
Participants at StepUp Greensboro focus on developing character, learning life skills, and building relationships with the volunteer staff. Bass says he’s had a former gang member find success after going through the program, making connections, and turning his life around. Bass says that man now has a family and showed off pictures of his kids. “He was so proud to be a dad working for the city of Greensboro, really doing great things. And so, I was just so proud to see his accomplishments.” Bass went on to say “there’s been some hiccups that goes along with it. So, that’s why we build those healthy relationships, to have individuals in place. So you don’t have to go back to where you were.”
In addition to job training, StepUp Greensboro also offers a money boot camp to help participants get finances in order. They learn not only how to manage money, but also how to improve their credit score. Bass says that’s a life skill that’s important for people to become self-sufficient
“Those are reasons to push forward, to persevere, because at the end of the rainbow is beauty … and we want them to know that… there’s hope,” Bass says. “And instead of Greensboro here for them, we’re here for anyone that wants to change their life. We’re here for them.”
StepUp Greensboro is located on North Elm Street in Greensboro. You can learn more about its programs, how to enroll, and how to volunteer online at www.stepupgreensboro.org.