Sometimes, all you need is two minutes: A brief moment to step away from a potentially volatile situation with a loved one, recompose, then reengage once you feel calm again. It’s a strategy Fortune participant Barry Mear learned in our Family Services program, and it’s made a big difference in the relationships between his girlfriend and three children. “It’s great now,” he says, “No regrets, no worries, none. I wish me and my girl could have [learned this earlier]…”
At Fortune, Barry stays focused, in order to gain all the valuable lessons that he can. He has clear goals, like earning a High School Equivalency diploma and obtaining steady employment. And he’s committed to being a supportive partner and father. Fortune is there for each of these key parts in his life. Through our holistic services, we empower Barry to communicate openly, with a focus on finding tangible solutions. “Just move forward. Whatever’s in the past, stays in the past,” he notes.
Through weekly group sessions, he’s gained new perspectives, and an ever-growing toolkit of parenting skills to rely on. An important lesson learned? “Kids [can] cause you to get agitated, but you have to be humble. Keep your composure and not get too flustered with everything.” Similarly, he’s learned the importance of maintaining eye contact when communicating– a small yet essential part of successful relationships. “If you drift [your gaze],” he notes, “you’re not going to listen, and you’re not going to get all the knowledge that you’re supposed to get.”
Barry credits Fortune counselors and facilitators for providing safe spaces of expression to practice these skills. Opening up, says Barry, “makes you feel better so you won’t…end up doing something that you’re not supposed to do.” Though he first came to Fortune seven years ago, this second time around has renewed his commitment to staying on a productive path– a yellow brick road of success. “That’s it,” he says, “[I’m] not trying to get derailed.”