All Kinds of News for February 03, 2016
Applewood Transitions for Young Women (WV) is one of three programs operated by Q&A Associates. This program's unique qualities are many, but the signature difference piece is the Breakfast Nook Restaurant. The Applewood Inn is a three story building located in Canaan Valley, WV. Our clients begin developing real life job skills by working at the Breakfast Nook, which is open seven days per week. Each young woman has the opportunity to operate all aspects of the restaurant, including ordering, marketing, cooking, waitressing, washing dishes and customer service. Clients develop real world life skills and personal responsibility by having an external project that acts as a catalyst for internal changes and growth. We are in the height of ski season in Canaan Valley and the Breakfast Nook is a gathering spot for locals and seasonal folks looking for a good meal before they hit the slopes.
The Nook- as it is affectionately referred to by customers - is managed by former Applewood client, Colleen. Colleen came to Applewood as a client four years ago and is one of our many success stories at Q&A. She came to us with addiction issues, trauma, family conflict, academic challenges, depression, and anxiety. She took advantage of all facets of the program, and met every challenge with support of our staff and community. She moved into the transition phase of the program a year later and was managing the Nook at the time. She moved on to work in various restaurants and resorts in the community, using what skills she learned at the Nook to build on. She chose to stay here in Canaan Valley after she finished the program because she felt safe here and had built her own community of friends and always had us here for support. She purchased her own car (she saved $10,000 while in the program!) and has had her own apartment for over a year. A few months ago, we approached her to come back and manage the Nook again. She gladly accepted.
When I asked Colleen about what she felt was different about coming back to manage the Nook now versus when she was in the program, she said "The other jobs I had in those two years helped me grow and mature and gave me the confidence and skills to come back to be a better leader and mentor to the clients." The Breakfast Nook currently employs five Applewood clients and two Cabin Mountain clients. I asked her what was the biggest challenge of managing the clients that staff the Nook, she replied "It can be hard to work with their different challenges they face and behaviors they may have to manage."
Colleen said the most rewarding part of managing the Nook and working with the clients is seeing their confidence and abilities grow. She also stated "It's pretty cool to work in the food industry, which I love, and also help the clients." She also reflected about the customers and their support. "We have cards on each table describing Applewood and what we are about and the customers read that and are extremely supportive and patient."
Applewood Transition clients often struggle with recurring issues from adolescence, causing difficulties in transitioning effectively to independence. Many of our clients have participated in numberous forms of therapy, but have struggled translating what they have learned to real life. Supported and guided by Certified Life Coaches and mentors, clients are presented with real life situations on a daily basis. This provides opportunities for them to have genuine experiences rather than contrived outcomes.