We believe in the importance of celebrating career milestones. Learn about our Great Wall, where participant achievements are recognized for all to see.
Why we celebrate career milestones
A cornerstone of our process at Cara is to appreciate and celebrate our participants along their journeys to meaningful employment. We know it’s difficult to maintain energy and enthusiasm throughout the entire process of finding and keeping a job—and staying motivated is key. One way to stay motivated is by being recognized for hard work. Because a lack of appreciation and recognition is one of the leading reasons people leave their jobs, our goal is to make sure Cara participants are recognized for their progress and success throughout their journeys, and especially when they achieve the ultimate career milestone of working one year on the job.
That’s where our Great Wall comes in. This Cara staple has two major purposes: to celebrate the accomplishments of our participants and to show those who are just getting started on their Cara journey what success looks like. It’s also a powerful visual for visiting employers and community members interested in learning about our mission.
So, what is the Great Wall?
Back in the day, when a participant graduated after making their first year on the job, we asked them to write down a quote that motivated them to stay on their Cara journey. As these profound words began piling up, we realized that we needed a way to display them. That’s why we dedicated a wall in our Great Room to showcase our framed plaques and recognize graduates’ names, employers, and the words that inspire them. We named it the Great Wall. Eventually, because we had so many participants graduating each month, we decided to regularly rotate out the plaques on the Great Wall but display all of the names permanently on a banner for all to see.
How We Use the Great Wall to Celebrate Career Milestones
When a participant hits one year on the job, they officially graduate from Cara. However, graduates are still encouraged to reach out for assistance to help them advance in their careers. Participants who just celebrated their one-year work anniversary return for a special Motivations and share all that they’ve accomplished in that year to an audience of their friends, family, coworkers and managers, Cara staff, and current participants. Then, they proudly take a picture with their plaque, newly displayed on the Great Wall.
The purpose of this ceremony is to emphasize the sense of pride, accomplishment, and belonging that comes with being part of this community and making it all the way through the Cara journey. To the person graduating, the entire ceremony is a victory that goes beyond the physical aspect of being showcased on the Great Wall—it represents a true personal accomplishment that can only be understood fully by other Cara alumni.
For those just starting their Cara journeys, witnessing the Great Wall is equally if not more important because it breeds hope. Participants see the actual result of following the Cara framework—communicating with others, taking their coaches’ suggestions, and actively practicing the lessons taught in our Transformations classes—and draw on that result for motivation to continue even when things get tough.