The Journey of Self-Transformation at Cara

Cara Staff

Cara helps people change their lives through quality employment opportunities.

Here’s what to expect from your Cara transformation 

Our process is unique and works by taking participants on a journey of self-transformation that improves their lives inside and out. So how do we help participants create meaningful change in themselves that ripples out to better their lives and communities? Find out from our participants how our program’s key aspects lead them from day one to year one through an odyssey of personal growth and self-transformation that takes them beyond employment.

Transformations in the Classroom

“Going through Cara’s Transformations has really changed me. You not only can use these skills at a job but in life, period. I learned how to be professional, communicate with people, and work as a team player.” — Mykel

While the goal of Transformations is to hone essential job-readiness skills, our classes offer so much more than that. Participants are expected to implement what we refer to as the “five ways to transform your life.” The five transformations include: to change their behavior, look with new eyes, think outside the box, don’t relax, and know the deepest truth of who you are. Each individual’s transformation process is different, but participants at Cara must come through the doors with an open mind for transformation to begin. Whether it starts as “I want to do better,” “I want to change my old habits and behavior,” “I want to love myself,” or anything else,  a readiness to grow and change is essential for positive transformation.

As former participant Regina says,  “Going through Transformations classes, I learned to look at my life through new eyes. I had the transferable skills all along that are important to getting a job. I had buried those skills inside of me before coming to Cara. Now, I’m letting my skills shine and breakthrough for everyone to see. I’m amplifying my voice to show my worth.” 

Regina’s story is really what ours is all about. We believe that Cara participants come to us with talent already within them—they just need guidance to unlock their skills and apply them to a professional environment. Ultimately, this means that one of the biggest rewards Cara has to offer is the deep understanding that you had it in you all along, a realization within itself that is transformative for many people. 

Beyond the Classroom

“On my first day, I quickly learned that Cara is a hard program because you are constantly improving yourself. If you put in what you need to for the Cara community to help you, it is a hard but rewarding journey.” — LaVonne

Self-growth is encouraged beyond the walls of the classroom. Once participants have completed the intensive four weeks of in-class Transformations, they are expected to take the lessons learned everywhere they go. Through experiences unique to Cara, such as Motivations, participants continue the process of growth and self-transformation, carrying it through to their personal and professional lives. 

Bringing their transformation from within Cara’s walls into the outside world requires participants to keep practicing self-reflection and improving their behavior. This kind of deep internal reckoning is not easy. It’s also not a quick process by any means—but maintaining healthy habits, good behaviors, and diligence helps sustain participants on the journey to finding, getting, and keeping a job.

One way Cara helps participants move self-growth beyond the classroom is through guided interviews. During each session, our coaches encourage participants to identify and build upon their strengths as they seek ways to improve in the areas that challenge them. If participants engage in a Cara internship, they are expected to show up and push past the barriers of self-doubt and fear so that they can reach their true potential and show their talents. Even in daily life when they’re eating lunch with classmates or working on a group project, participants are encouraged to think about the standards they wish to hold themselves to and embrace their values.

Throughout this process, participants learn to uplift others even as they themselves are uplifted. This leads naturally to finding what motivates them best—and helps them land meaningful roles that align with their values. 

Successful Self-Growth 

Success after Cara is more than just having a job—although, of course, that’s a huge accomplishment to be celebrated. What we love to see are people who believe in themselves, work hard, and have a positive outlook on life. 

Take Willie, for example, a participant who attended four weeks of Transformations classes and found it extremely challenging to accept the changes taking place inside himself. He made excuses for why the process wasn’t working for him, and he didn’t follow through on commitments. He wasn’t a team player. He didn’t complete all of his assignments and made excuses for not doing his best. 

But then, Willie received his competency evaluation—which allows participants to see if they did well in the five competencies—and as if someone suddenly shook him, Willie experienced his moment of self-transformation. This evaluation made Willie open his eyes and realize that all along, he had been sitting in class for a reason. More than that, he knew he could do better and be better. Willie decided to retake the Transformations classes, and this time he participated like he never had before. He spoke up, asked questions, and offered help to those around him. He stepped outside of his comfort zone and truly began to transform. For the past five years, Willie has been employed with the Salvation Army as a truck operator. He is proof that the journey may be different for every person on the pathway to transforming your life.

What does self-transformation look like to you? Is it something Cara can help you with achieving? If so, get started with Cara today.