The FOCUS program serves wounded warriors in various stages of transition and recovery. Participants suffer visible and invisible injuries and, now faced with these challenges, are working to find a new reality.
FOCUS Marines Foundation conducts four, multi-faceted, seven-day, workshops each year in rural Augusta, Missouri. The course includes a host of motivational speakers that encourage participants to rise above challenges, reject victimization, and adopt positive habits. Participants realize they are not alone in their challenges while building a vast support network. Participants, who attend from throughout the U.S. at no expense to themselves, are encouraged to leave their comfort zone and set/realize the goals to which they aspire. They are also coached in practical life skills such as networking, resume writing, and other important abilities. Participants find renewed hope and direction, develop positive characteristics, experience enhanced self-worth, and commit to continuing self-improvement.
Warriors know what goals they need to set for themselves. FOCUS gives them a jumping off point. The pride and sense of accomplishment these warriors feel when they take steps to improve their lives is FMF’s definition of success. FOCUS provides graduates with continued support and encouragement as they strive to meet their full potential. More importantly, they find strength and security in each other. The bonds made during FOCUS are life-long and overwhelmingly positive. Graduates call on their support systems for help and even to inform each other of the positives in their lives.
FMF continually evaluates the effectiveness of its program. Staff input and, more importantly, participant feedback, provide crucial information on how best to help veterans. No two FOCUS Courses are alike, each modified to improve the scheduling, instructional methods, and curriculum.
The most recent expansion is the FOCUS Graduate Program. Upon completion of a FOCUS Course, graduates have the opportunity to enroll and receive structured, long-term mentoring focused on, but not limited to, the issues they declare as their biggest challenges. Topics include relationships, employment, education, health/wellness issues, and financial stability. FMF pulls in resources and collaborations with other veteran-support organizations from across the country to assist graduates in setting goals and taking the steps to make them realities.
The success of the FOCUS program and the individual accomplishments of the warriors served cannot be defined as a number. Instead, success is measured in overall improved quality of life — repaired relationships, new-found sense of self, and the knowledge that they are not alone in their journeys. FOCUS provides the opportunity for our nation’s heroes to find the lives they deserve.