Our hope is to launch every asylum seeker into a place of independence and stability upon graduation from DASH Network. In order to do this, we have created a program called Thrive Academy, which partners with volunteers and community organizations to give our residents opportunities for ESOL (English to speakers of other languages) and other adult-education classes that move them towards growth and success in the U.S.
The adult-education classes offered vary depending on the volunteers and partnerships available at the time. If you are interested, or know of a group who would be, in teaching adult-education courses such as resume editing, financial literacy, mindfulness, or even something like Zumba, please reach out to us! We love using the communities’ passions and talents to support residents in gaining the confidence and knowledge needed to navigate life in the United States.
DASH Network employs two full-time social workers, one whom is a DASH graduate herself, to assist our residents with community resources and connections to medical clinics, clothing banks, staffing agencies, and much more. They are a huge part of the success of our program and the preparedness of our residents for independence upon graduation!
Once DASH residents receive their work permit, they are given a 5-6 month “runway” to graduate from the program into independent living. In that 5-6 month period, residents work with our social worker to obtain a job, find an apartment or living space, and put down a deposit on their new home—many are even able to buy a car for transportation. This means DASH graduates move into independent living within 5-6 months of obtaining a work permit!
While graduating DASH is an incredible accomplishment that we celebrate, residents who earn less than a living wage remain in a financially vulnerable place. DASH Network’s ESOL classes and Thrive Academy courses work to position residents to maximize their earning potential and thrive after graduation. Our licensed social worker continues to conduct monthly follow ups with recent graduates for their first few months on their own to offer support during this transition. Through on-going friendship and networking within the DASH family, residents have gone on to work as nurses, truck drivers, lawyers, journalists, and housekeepers – among other reputable trades.