When many of Scott Beattie’s students hear the word “cloud,” they think of the puffy white things they see in the sky. Often, they’re unfamiliar with the digital concept of cloud computing.
“Because of incarceration, addiction, or other life interruptions, they know little about modern technology,” says Beattie, who directs LifePath Christian Ministry’s men’s Learning Center.
LifePath considers education a crucial component in the recovery process for men and women who enter the shelter. Along with computer literacy classes, the Learning Center also teaches typing, finance, and other skills people need to lead independent lives.
“We also walk clients through steps to successfully find employment-writing resumes, locating jobs, and how to properly interview,” Beattie says.
‘From learning to teaching’
Beattie cites as a Learning Center success story a man who came through LifePath twice prior to the Learning Center’s establishment.
“He didn’t get some things he needed then,” Beattie says.
They took him through the finance class and shifted his thinking about preparing for life financially. Soon after, he got a job with a business connected to LifePath.
“He told me how he shared some of what he learned here with a customer, going from learning to teaching,” Beattie recalls.
Believing in themselves
Beattie offers this metaphor for education’s role at LifePath.
“The lifeguard’s job is to rescue someone in the water, get them out of the crisis. That’s what LifePath used to do,” he says. “Now, we teach clients to swim and get through deep water.”
Beattie believes many LifePath clients never had someone believe in them or tell them they could succeed.
“By providing education and job skills,” he says, “LifePath’s Learning Center does that.”