The Education and Employment Ministry, TEEM for short, is an interfaith, 501 (c) 3, nonprofit organization. In the past 29 years, TEEM has served more than 14,000 individuals in our community. When founded in 1987, TEEM primarily served men with alcohol and substance abuse issues. Today, our emphasis is on giving a hand up to individuals re-entering society, through educational preparation, social services, and job training and placement. We strive to provide our clients a second chance at success; in essence, a chance to redefine themselves by their gifts, skills, talents and passions, instead of a troubled past. Today, we serve men and women who have a desire to change their lives, with a primary client population of non-violent, low-risk men. By giving parents the tools to become self-sufficient, we work to break generational cycles of incarceration and poverty. All TEEM's services are free of charge to our clients.
With 611,471 Oklahomans living below the poverty level, TEEM provides a crucial role in the community by providing comprehensive educational courses to our most marginalized citizens. The accessible educational component of our service model is a stepping stone back into the community and into gainful employment. By providing GED preparation, computer navigation, keyboarding, job skills and soft skills classes, we help our clients open doors to success. Research shows education significantly reduces recidivism, and we firmly believe that by providing educational resources for our clients, we help change the course of their lives for good.
TEEM's Job Placement department is committed to educating and training our students for long-term, successful employment. Clients who attend ‘Ready For Work’ classes are equipped with the tools and information they need to successfully obtain and maintain employment. Our commitment to our clients goes beyond removing the barriers of joblessness. Our goal is to help our clients build confidence, live purposefully and put an end to generational cycles of incarceration and poverty.
Imagine having never seen healthy conflict management or successful financial decisions made in your life. Without these examples, it's challenging to emulate successful living. TEEM's life skills classes and one-on-one mentoring program offer students the opportunity to learn the skills necessary to maintain successful relationships, manage finances, build character and, most importantly, accept self. Research shows participants in programs like TEEM more than double their likelihood of finding and maintaining employment when paired with a mentor. Learning to interact with others, navigate stressful situations and manage money are all major denominators in successful living.
We also help students overcome other barriers that keep them from finding and keeping a job. Without transportation, appropriate clothing, childcare or identification, finding a job can be next to impossible. Our team of social workers meet with each student to find solutions to these extraordinary challenges.
For TEEM to continue to grow and provide our clients with an environment conducive to a successful transition into self-sufficient living, we must have community partners who share our passion for changing lives. One of the biggest barriers our clients face in finding employment is the stigma their backgrounds carry. We are grateful for the support of our partner agencies and corporate sponsors who hire, teach and work with our clients, and are always looking to build our presence in the community! It lifts an incredible burden when people in the community come alongside us with a shared desire to see our clients succeed.