STRIVE’s mission is to help men and women achieve financial independence, to assist others in adopting the STRIVE model, and to encourage effective employment policies and practices nationwide.
How We Started
Fueled by a desire to make a difference, Cornerstone Missionary Baptist Church reached out to the community with a plan to alleviate some of the problems it saw prevalent in society by attacking it at its core: economic instability. There was a missing link that neither welfare nor welfare reform had found, but the STRIVE model could provide. After several town meetings where approximately 65 community leaders of a small city came together, the vote was unanimous that STRIVE was a move in the right direction.
In March of 1999, the communities of faith, government, commerce and public service came together to create L.I.F.E. of North Carolina Inc. (Lifestyle Innovations For Empowerment, a nonprofit corporation) in an effort to revitalize the economic and community base of the eastern Carolina region. In response to new federal legislation promoting welfare-to-work initiatives, the region needed an avenue to help its indigent become self-sufficient and empowered with skills to brave the storm after years of artificial shelter.
L.I.F.E. opened its doors in response to the increasing poverty and welfare rate of rural eastern North Carolina. According to key status indicators, the Eastern Region Partnership had poverty and unemployment rates above state averages. With the realignment of service over industry, the region was in desperate need of a job readiness and training program whose unique approach addressed the “soft” skills necessary for job placement and retention. Therefore, L.I.F.E. sought to employ the STRIVE program consisting of intense training, development and long-term follow-up to alleviate the problems quickly turning into conditions.
L.I.F.E. of North Carolina Inc. is the product of a vision — the vision of a community desiring to love thy neighbor and to be thy brother’s keeper. Since opening in May 2000, our task has been to break down the wall of self-destruction in order to build the foundation for independent, productive members of society who believe in the power of their own strength. Emerging from a seed of inspiration to make a difference, L.I.F.E. has evolved into a wellspring of hope and support for the clients for whom it serves. We inspire change, which begins from within. L.I.F.E. recognized the ramifications of a mostly uneducated, low-achieving, cycle-of-poverty generation workforce being forced into the real world and sought to provide a mechanism that would change the tide.
With faith in the STRIVE model, the vision of a few multiplied into the reality of many — a job readiness training program that developed the interpersonal and behavioral skills needed to create financial independence. L.I.F.E. of NC, a subsidiary of STRIVE, seeks to be a beacon for a community in desperate need of solutions — solutions we have made strides in achieving.
From its humble beginning in the borrowed space of Rubbermaid Manufacturing Co. to its home at 600 W. Third St., Greenville, N.C. , L.I.F.E. of North Carolina has become a wellspring of hope — a hope for countless individuals in need of a helping hand to gain self-sufficiency and total well being. In its almost 18-plus years of existence, L.I.F.E. has successfully implemented the job readiness and attitudinal training model of the national STRIVE program to graduate and employ the “hardest-to-employ” individuals. It has extended its reach into neighboring counties and has established a growing reputation of a proven job-training program. It is our objective to continue growth and evolution through extended outreach to communities and people, expanded services, and continued financial viability for future development and responsiveness.