The TWN program has three core components:
The first and foundational component is coaching. Coaches and students meet weekly in person on campus, focusing on scholars’ overall wellness. Coaches work to ensure that students have access to housing throughout the year, are maintaining their physical and mental health, and are progressing academically and socially. Coaches offer guidance, celebrate the students’ successes, and extend a hand when they stumble. As students with adverse life experiences need and deserve trauma-sensitive coaching TWN employs trained clinicians in these coaching roles.
The second component of TWN’s program is financial. Wily Scholars receive a monthly stipend to cover gaps in their budgets, and supplemental financial assistance is available as needed for expenses not typically covered by the student financial aid package. For example, aid packages may not provide enough for students to purchase a winter coat, a pair of snow boots, or clothing appropriate for a job interview. Wily staff provide expert help managing financial aid packages and completing yearly financial aid applications. The accompanying financial literacy program includes workshops and collaborative decision-making designed to develop such skills as budgeting and financial planning.
The third component is community building. Prior to engaging with Wily peers, our scholars report having felt isolated, in part because their personal narratives often differ greatly from those of their schoolmates. Wily Scholars are often eager to connect with students who have had similar life experiences and enjoy opportunities for authentic connection with their Wily peers through educational workshops, shared meals, community service, and down time. TWN also provides networking opportunities for scholars to develop lifelong relationships with people outside their college community. During the 2017–2018 academic year, the Wily Network has scheduled group programming specifically for our women Scholars focused on gender issues in the workplace.