I am so excited. The CRIB is coming together–it is amazing to see and to experience. However, the reality of the CRIB seems to be breaking in on us as we realize that what we are engaged in is more than a building—it is a whole new way of seeing Hopeworks. The CRIB is a strategy that will allow us to work more intentionally with youth who are in college and need a structure around them to be successful.
What makes this different, is that in the past, a Hopeworks youth would ascend to production (that is, have a job at Hopeworks) and then be in college. We were limited on what we could offer to such a youth besides daily literacy help. However, with the CRIB, this will all change. The CRIB allows a youth not only literacy but also a community structure of success—from study periods, to working with other youth and learning from their successful habits/routines. It is a powerful change–not just in offering something new to youth, but also in HOW YOUTH VISUALIZE HOPEWORKS and how they connect to it.
However, as we ready ourselves for this change, we are finding it important to visualize our organizational future. The addition of the CRIB is a continuation of our services to youth. Whereas youth had a job and were in college with us, now we have a setup where youth can be supported by housing, an internship, intentional success structures and a supportive 24/7 environment. This is a qualitatively different package of opportunities. We have put them together because we believe that they will provide the best means for the youth that we work with to have future success.
However, what I am finding, is that organizationally, we are stuck in thinking about what we have been doing at the expense of what we can be doing. The CRIB is all about a future that isn’t known—lot’s to figure out, adapt and change. However, the organizational tendency is to stick with what we have been doing, becoming anxious about change.
The challenge is to visualize what can be—not what has been. That is what awaits us this month!