“A more individual and tailored approach CAN be done at scale, and it doesn’t cost the world.”
-Keetie Roelen, Host of Poverty Unpacked

EMPath President & CEO Beth Babcock recently appeared on the podcast Poverty Unpacked with Keetie Roelen. In the episode, “Mobility mentoring to navigate the trauma of poverty – a brain-science based approach,” Babcock discusses EMPath’s economic mobility coaching approach, called Mobility Mentoring®.

Mobility Mentoring is EMPath’s research-based method for partnering with people struggling with the stresses of making ends meet. Working one-on-one with a mentor, participants set goals in various parts of life: health, family, career, finances, and education. Then they follow a clear roadmap for progress, earning recognition for their successes along the way. In the process, participants build the confidence, resilience, and skills they need to climb the economic ladder and build a better future for their children.

Unlike traditional case management, this approach uses the science of human behavior to create better outcomes for people in need of services and people providing them. While many social interventions tell individuals what they “should” be doing (or do things for them), Mobility Mentoring gives program participants the agency to decide what goals they would like to work on. The model is designed to address the impacts of trauma, stress, and oppression on the brain.

“What you’re doing is you’re sitting next to the person and saying to them, what do you see as the problems that are getting in your way of being able to live your life to the fullest and do the things you want to do? What are the kinds of goals that you have for your life?” Beth explains on the podcast. “And then helping people navigate what steps they could take, whether it be education or help with their money or help with their personal circumstances or housing.”

Beth shares how Mobility Mentoring fits into the bigger picture of systemic barriers and injustice. She also speaks about EMPath’s network of organizations across the globe. With support from EMPath and each other, network members learn about, adapt, and implement Mobility Mentoring in their own programs.