Research shows that the stresses of poverty—from struggling to access food and housing, to abuse and other traumas—impacts how our brain functions, especially diminishing planning, decision making, and other executive functioning skills.

At Climb, moms find a safe place to address past obstacles in their personal and work lives with a licensed mental health provider while also practicing new ways to heal the brain’s previous negative patterns.

73% of Climb participants report improved executive functioning after the program, including skills like planning and decision making, working memory, and emotional regulation.

“Climb is really different in that we take a psychologically informed approach to job training,” says Amy Boillot, a therapist who has been working with Climb moms for more than two decades.

“We have a place for emotions at Climb,” she says. “Each day of the program offers consistency and structure so moms know what to expect and can begin to practice new ways of thinking. And unlike a lot of work programs, we stay with moms once they begin a new job, checking in each week to ask, ‘How is it going at work?’ and then talking through ways to make a different decision or do things differently. It’s a very powerful model.”

With support, the brain can heal from the traumas of poverty…and moms can forge ahead for years to come with new tools for succeeding in work and life.