iStrive is up and running. An incredible group of young adults are guiding us in building their program. They are the future mentors of new members. We have been very careful in accepting participants, always providing alternatives for those who might not be ready for this type of experience. We plan to gradually add more to the group, especially girls. So if you know anyone who you think might be a fit, please give them our contact information.Thanks to help from a wonderful group of parents and our iStrive committee we launched the first month as scheduled in January, and what an inspiring several weeks it’s been. There’s so much to share about the great group in the Saturday program, so exciting, We have pictures and videos, testimonials and descriptions. Just take a look, read on…we couldn’t have asked for it to be more successful!Thank you for helping us at ACAP to launch iStrive. We hope when you see how remarkably it’s progressing you will be moved to continue support for this valuable community resource.
Many Thanks to all our supporters, and special gratitude to our Parent Group Steering Committee.
The iStrive approach is a partnership between parents, young adults, our professional staff, and the generous guest presenters who come in on Saturdays to share their expertise in a variety of areas.
While we bring the knowledge and skills about how to help people learn about themself, what they want in life, how to make lasting relationships, and to develop the the tools for success in the workplace and life, the parents and young adults are leading us. It is with their input that we develop the content of the program. They are the experts on their children.
In turn, the iStrive young adults understand that they are the essential designers of a center where they can feel free to be themselves without anxiety about acceptance or criticism. This approach frees them to explore ideas and find new, effective ways to communicate – while having a good time.
We’ve had some wonderfully fun and funny moments with these amazing, dedicated iStrive parents. It’s remarkable how good it feels to be able to share some of hilarious, frustrating, challenging moments with friends who really get what you’re going through.
Our Parent Group, not all of whom are in the photo, are creative, persistent, and innovative. They guide us, so we can get together and brainstorm, as here, the activities that will be the vehicles for achieving the goals for iStrive members.
iStrive Launch Week
“What a terrific day January 12th was for the launch of iStrive. Staff, participants, parents, we were all excited and nervous about how the day would go. It was extraordinary and better than we imagined.” She reported. “ Prior to Saturday staff spent many hours figuring out the “curriculum” and processes for this first day. We had two concepts around which each activity would revolve: “getting to know you” and ” what I’d like to change”.
Each day the group picks what music they’ll want for background throughout the day. There may be several genres on the list, and they describe why they’d like these particular songs. Their selections are quite varied, showing a range of stylistic preferences.
Then we start the day with a Community Meeting
Click here to learn more about the first day and how we learned everyone’s favorite pizza topping – Really, George likes pineapple!iStrive in the news!
The Marshmallow Challenge
The marshmallow challenge is an ideal introduction to several key aspects of innovation – idea generation, collaboration, creativity and teamwork. It‘s a simple experiential activity where teams are given a challenge to build the tallest freestanding structure that will support the weight of one marshmallow. They have 18 minutes to complete the challenge and are given
a set number of building materials.
Besides the challenge, enduring the frustration of collapsing structure, and eyes on the goal of
winning, what did our group learn?
iStrive Marshmallow Challenge 2-1-2019 from Patricia Bratt on Vimeo.
You’ll love our Marshmallow Challenge video. Look at those guys go! 3 min video of the teams facing the challenge. Remember, no matter how many engineering, MBA, architectural groups take the challenge, the highest scorers on this contest are kindergarteners. Take a look at iStrive’s fun!
Each day the group picks what music they’ll want for background throughout the day. There may be several genres on the list, and they describe why they’d like these particular songs. Their selections are quite varied, showing a range of stylistic preferences., and are open to learning about everyone else’s favorites. Music, discussion of it, singing. and musical games tend to be a part of every day at iStrive.
The Community Meeting and the Debrief session are two parts of the day where members know they can discuss anything that’s occurred during the week. They can make suggestions about improving iStrive or plan future events. They are very enthusiastic about making their own film about the project, and are each choosing different roles in it.
Most surprising, in these Community Meetings, is the depth of openness and willingness to share tough experiences that is spontaneously brought up by members. They talk about Meltdown Management, anxiety, bullying at school, self doubts about success, fears about not being liked…We, the staff, would typically find more disguised ways to broach these topics, but they bring it right out there.
Amazingly, they are exquisitely supportive of each other. Teaching relaxation techniques when someone is stressed… Helping with impulse issues when they pop up…Being warmly inclusive, and still recognizing and supporting when people need some space time. They are remarkable.
A Month at iStrive
How do you fill four hours with ten young men, with components that are designed to promote:
A sense of community
Our Guest Speakers
For iStrive’s Special Topics hour we have guest speakers, free team time, or plan future events like an iStrive video for our June event.
Special guests present a range of topics and ideas. This component of the program offers an opportunity to learn more about various careers, self-advocacy, and creative stress management.
Included in our roster are:
A music therapist who actually go people making up songs to describe themself.
A police officer who specializes in helping kids understand safety and self-protection.
A service pet trainer and his dog.
Identifor training – a computer based game platform that identifies strength and weaknesses of multiple types of intelligence and executive functioning to assist in career planning.
Feedback from parents after receiving our update on the events of the first weeks.
“Thank you so much for this, J had a great time and is sad he has to miss the next 2 weeks for prior commitments but will be back after that. It is so amazing that this idea at the fundraiser is really in existence. He enjoyed each part of the program and meeting new friends. He liked when everyone is together at some points and the smaller groups breakouts. But I think he would like more of the large group so he can better meet the other kids. Just a thought maybe entire group Yoga and Lunch or something like that. Thank you again.”
“M liked every aspect of Saturday! And your detailed description is very appreciated (although we know we can’t expect as much each time 🙂 ). Made me realize how much we needed your program. Thanks so much…”
“Thanks for the amazing update. M’C was very pleased with his experience. He said it was exactly what he was hoping for and was looking forward to the next time! It’s comforting to see you guys have already developed a clear picture of who he is and I’m excited to see what this turns out to be for him. Looking forward to next weekend, have a great week all!”
“Thank you. This is wonderful. It sounds like it was an amazing day.”
“Wow. Thanks for such an in-depth and descriptive summary. Adrian was sailing high all day. He loved the program and is looking forward to next week. Great job all!!!”
“Thank you so much for this info. I didn’t get too much from E (except “It’s a good program. We get to do whatever we want,” and a willingness to return next week!), so I’m grateful for your detailed letter. Thank you for your most perceptive observations — almost as good as being on fly on the wall myself! See you Saturday…”
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If you have a disability and need accommodations, please notify the ACAP main office at 973-629-1001 or firstname.lastname@example.org and instructor at least 14 days before the event.
ACAP has been continuously, nationally accredited by ABAP, the American Board for Accreditation in Psychoanalysis, since 1990, and BGSP-NJ’s programs are regionally accredited by NECHE, the New England Commission of Higher Education. More>>