What is STRIVE?

Since its East Harlem beginning in 1984, STRIVE has prepared more than 80,000 people for success at work and in life, gaining national recognition for programming and achieving an exceptional job placement rate of 70%.

STRIVE provides employers with a pipeline of workers determined to succeed. Our groundbreaking approach of intensive attitudinal training and long-term support has proved to be a successful model for helping people gain sustained employment and transform their lives. Armed with 36 years of experience, we are constantly seeking to achieve new levels of excellence in cities across the nation.

All STRIVE DC participants are automatically eligible to receive additional support through the Next Step program. This program provides casework, professional clothing, food, referrals, advocacy, and other supports to help STRIVE participants succeed.

Samaritan Ministry also holds joint classes together with Byte Back that provide participants with both basic IT career training and STRIVE job readiness training. 

STRIVE could be your ticket to a better future!

Scroll down this page to see videos about about STRIVE and read about STRIVE class details.

To speak with STRIVE Trainer Cheryl Mercer or register for a STRIVE class, contact her at (571)616-0427 or

Antoinette Green is a Strive graduate, watch the video to hear her testimony!

STRIVE Class Details

During your time as a STRIVE participant, you will master interview skills, create a resume, learn Microsoft TEAMS, and devise your very own “Dummy Company.” You’ll also gain access to STRIVE International and be able to get support from any STRIVE affiliate site throughout the country. Once you graduate, you’ll also receive a cash award, and when you start work, you’ll receive another one! We will also help you with work attire and a loaner laptop should you need one. Each one of STRIVE’s sites uses the five pillar model described below.

1. Attitudinal and Job Readiness Training – This is a three-week workshop that aims to instill the attitudes and behaviors needed for success in work and life. Those with the right attitude toward authority, culture, and peers are better positioned to succeed in additional educational programs and in the workplace.  

2. Occupational Skills Training – STRIVE graduates have the opportunity to enroll in various employer-driven, sector-based training programs in industries such as healthcare, hospitality/culinary arts, construction and information technology, among others.

3. Case Work and Supportive Services – STRIVE training takes place within the context of the Next Step Program, which offers a host of supportive services including case work assistance to address barriers – such as lack of housing, need for additional education, and access to health care – that can prevent participants from gaining economic self-sufficiency.  

4. Job Placement– The STRIVE team develops and maintains relationships with employers who are a source of placements for graduates. These partners provide vital employment opportunities for our graduates and give real-time feedback on our curriculum to ensure participants are equipped with the most relevant, up-to-date skills. STRIVE’s employer partners include Thompson Hospitality and Byte Back, among others. 

5. Follow-Up and Retention – The STRIVE training process includes two years of follow-up career counseling, support and referral services for graduates. The STRIVE team also encourages participants to pursue opportunities that enhance upward mobility within the workforce. 

STRIVE International