STRIVE, a component of Samaritan Ministry's Next Step Program, is especially tailored to meet the needs of women and men with multiple barriers to employment, including folks who are unemployed long-termSTRIVE logo, formerly incarcerated, disconnected youth, recovering addicts, public assistance recipients, veterans, homeless, and/or those who are working on the edge of poverty. It offers a distinct combination of attitudinal and job readiness training, along with case work and targeted support services that successfully prepare chronically unemployed individuals for competitive employment opportunities in some of today’s highest growth industries.

STRIVE training offers a safe and structured environment in which participants are encouraged to accept responsibility for past mistakes and to be open to alternative ways of approaching situations in the future; this prepares them to become work-ready individuals. The STRIVE training model and the Next Step Program approach are rooted in the belief that every individual has the power to change, and often needs only the tools and supports to do so. We ensure that every participant is not only ready to find a job, but is also ready to keep it. STRIVE has these five elements:

  1. Attitudinal and Job Readiness Training – Our attitudinal and job readiness training is a three-week workshop that aims to change participants’ attitudes towards authority, culture, and peers, enabling them to succeed in further skills training or educational programs as well as the workplace. We understand that without the right attitude, it can be very difficult to find and or keep a job.
  2. Occupational Skills Training – STRIVE graduates have the opportunity to enroll in various employer-driven, sector-based training programs in industries, such as healthcare, culinary arts, construction, and auto-mechanics.
  3. Case Work and Supportive Services – Throughout this intensive experience, participants' skills, interests, and education/training needs are assessed, and a plan of action is designed to help each person set and achieve his or her career goals. STRIVE training takes place within the context of the Next Step Program, which offers graduates a host of supportive services including: Pre-GED classes, burial assistance funds for low income DC residents with HIV or AIDS, workshops on various topics, and case work assistance  to address barriers that prevent participants from gaining economic self-sufficiency, such as lack of housing and access to health care.
  4. Job Placement – The STRIVE team develops and maintains relationships with employers who are a source of placements for graduates. Many partners provide not only vital employment opportunities for our graduates, but also feedback that informs our curriculum to ensure that participants are equipped with the most relevant, up-to-date skills. Some of STRIVE's employer partners, among many others, are: CalPro Group, Hensel Phelps, Washington Convention Center, JC Clothing, International Monetary Fund (IMF), Hensel Phelps Construction, WALMART, Jiffy Lube, DC Water, DC METRO, TJ MAXX, Boloco, GIANT, Cintas, Chiplote, and Allied Barton
  5. Follow-Up and Retention – The STRIVE training process includes two years of follow-up with graduates. This includes career counseling, support and referral services. Staff also encourage participants to pursue opportunities that enhance upward mobility within the workforce.

STRIVE training lasts three-weeks and is offered approximately every other month at the Skyland Workforce Center at 2509 Good Hope Road SE, Washington, DC 20020.

Here’s How to Get Involved in STRIVE

  • If you are an individual who would like to be an employed STRIVE graduate, make an appointment with our STRIVE team by contacting Miss Deirdre Duffy at or (202) 793-2141.
  • If you are an area business interested in hiring STRIVE graduates, or partnering with Samaritan Ministry in this work, contact Miss Deirdre Duffy at or (202) 793-2141.
  • If you are part of an organization that would like to learn more about how STRIVE can assist your clients, contact Miss Deirdre Duffy at or (202) 793-2141.
  • If you want to donate to ensure that STRIVE training and support to graduates is offered, click here.
  • If you would like to volunteer with Samaritan Ministry, click here to learn how.

STRIVE - 30 Years of Impact