Prospect Human Services Skills for Success program is back at it again with another mural for our community. After completing the welcome mural at the library, they are now painting a mural outside of the Happy Gang building.
Prospect's program manager for Rocky View Wheatland employment services, including the Skills for Success program, Wendy Smith is overseeing this mural, and she explained the design is inspired by what they heard community members say about Strathmore.
"The themes we got out of that (talking with the community) were building an experience together, a great deal of love for the community, representation in the community, diversity in the community, and we put that together in a piece here. We're going to have hands of different skin tones putting together a puzzle piece that is themed with the heart and love," she said.
Skills for Success is a 12-week program designed to teach people valuable skills in the workforce through art. Smith explained art is the tool to teach these skills, so the art itself isn't the end goal of the program. This can include skills like teamwork, punctuality, self-confidence, and more. Sometimes, Smith said they get creative with the ways they prepare people for the work force.
"With one of the groups we were going to do job interviews, and everyone was really nervous. So we took a step back, asked 'Why are we scared of job interviews? What about them is scary?' And then through the art of song, we held a karaoke night and everybody got up and sang a song in front of the group and realized: 'Well, if I can do that, if I can sing in front of a group of people, then I can do art, I can then do a job interview.' So it was neat to see that transfer of skills."
Another big focus of Skills for Success is community involvement. Beyond wanting to give back to the community by creating beautiful murals, getting people involved with community groups and building connections is a large focus of the program.
"Strathmore has been amazing to work with, to be in the town of Strathmore, to meet the people, the different groups and clubs, community members, the service providers here, they've all just been so supportive. This is a way of giving back, to beautify the community."
Skills for Success will have another cohort starting in October, if you're interested in joining you can visit Prospect's office at 119-320 2nd St, or visit their website prospectnow.ca/skillsforsuccess/. Beyond Skills for Success, Smith added Prospect offers many free services to help with employment, and you can learn more on the website or by visiting the office.
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