Our hope is to launch every asylum seeker into a place of independence and stability upon graduation from DASH Network. We offer the Thrive Academy to overcome two of the biggest barriers to this goal: English proficiency and job training. This educational program offers Job Corps training, explanations of American culture, ESL classes, financial management, resume and interview skills, and much more through a partnership with FBC Arlington. We work hard to tailor the Thrive Academy offerings to the interests and needs of our current residents.
DASH Network employs a full-time social worker, a DASH graduate herself, to assist our residents with community resources and connections to medical clinics, clothing banks, staffing agencies, and much more. She is 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 ESL 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.