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The Essential Elements of Mobility Mentoring®

Today, overcoming poverty and moving up the economic ladder has become increasingly more complex. It requires not only access to up-to-date information and resources, but also the skills to navigate the long journey. Program participants can improve their chances of success through the multi-faceted and sustained approach offered by Mobility Mentoring®, a concept that CWU developed in 2009.

Mobility Mentoring is the long-term developmental partnership between trained staff and program participants through which participants acquire the resources, knowledge, and skills necessary to attain and preserve economic independence.

Grounded in CWU's theory of change, the Bridge to Self-Sufficiency®, Mobility Mentoring has several core elements that support a person's progress through each of the Bridge's five pillars—family stability, well-being, education and training, financial management, and employment and career management—resulting in economic security.

Bridge to SElf-Sufficiency® Assessment

CWU staff help program participants complete an initial assessment using the Bridge to Self-Sufficiency to determine the participant’s current stage in each pillar. The Bridge Assessment tool identifies strengths that will support participant’s goal attainment and help them surmount obstacles that might inhibit success. 

Mobility Mentoring® Brief


Read the Mobility Mentoring brief to learn more about this professional practice of partnering with clients so that over time they may acquire the resouces, skills, and sustained behavior changes necessary to attain and preserve their economic independence.

personalized action plan

After being assessed, program participants work with staff to create a practical, achievable plan to attain a family-sustaining job, build savings, reduce debt, finish college, and meet other customized goals.  Participants identify their own unique short- and long-term milestones, outline steps and set a time-frame to reach them.  Periodically, staff and the participant will reassess these customized plans, reviewing accomplishments, setting new goals to reach long-range objectives.  


Mobility Mentoring offers incentives—financial and otherwise—when participants reach significant targets in their personalized plan. In addition to cash incentives, participants could also be eligible for matched savings, enabling them to build reserve funds faster. 


This professionalized staffing approach uses the Bridge to Self-Sufficiency as a framework through which to engage program participants in a deliberate one on one “partnership”.   Staff is trained in mentoring processes and approaches designed to improve participant decision-making, persistence, and resilience and through long-term repeated practice.   In this way, the habits and practices of Mobility Mentoring become internalized allowing the participant to eventually mentor and coach themselves and their families in ways that support economic independence.  

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