Our Participants

Participants who attend our Resilience Training face extreme challenges as they transition to post-prison life, in employment, housing, family and community relationships.   Most struggled as children to survive in families that were not safe, secure or nurturing.  Their parents often engaged in crime and substance abuse.  One hundred percent of participants have had family or friends die from a drug overdose.


All participants in the training have been convicted of felonies.  All have been incarcerated, are currently on parole or probation, and are under the jurisdiction of the Utah Courts, supervised by the Division of Corrections. Incarceration was usually due to multiple drug and distribution violations.

What they have endured is inconceivable --chaos, bondage, addiction, poverty, paranoia, crime, punishment, neglect and constant turmoil from a very early age.  They have squandered precious time growing up that should have been used developing life skills.  They have suffered illness, physical pain, loneliness, homelessness, and spiritual dislocation.  They are stripped of common dignity and a productive purpose for life.
 


Albert Zylstra, Ph.D.

 
Dr. Zylstra teaches a unique perspective of human behavior that inspires and motivates.  He teaches that empowerment is the opportunity, resilience is possible, and that positive expectations enhance positive outcome.  Dr. Zylstra has created research-based personal empowerment programs that are designed to instill personal power, stimulate resiliency, enhance spiritual awareness, and inspire hope and purpose.  The children’s program, Strategic Personal Resiliency for Kids (SPRK), is a child/mentor program that focuses on the development and enhancement of resiliency and self-reliance.


 The Adolescent and Adult Resiliency Programs (AARP), strengthen belief in the ability to effectively cope with the present and to strategically direct the course of one’s life.   Dr. Zylstra is a guest lecturer and presenter and works as an instructor with adult probation and parole.  He has served as a member of the board of trustees of the HIARC organization for 11 years.  He has also worked as a school psychologist and administrator.  Dr. Zylstra graduated from Brigham Young University with a Ph.D. in psychology. 

Our Resilience Program

We believe in second chances, rooted in evidence-based instruction, genuine compassion, and accountability.  Generous donors have enabled us to offer resiliency training to help ex-offenders change their mindset, behaviors and life skills for the good.  Our foundation is based on the mantra that resilience is a learned behavior; this is your chance to learn and apply a new way of thinking and being that will lead to a healthier, happier, more productive life. 

Resilience lessons utilize the insights of prophets, philosophers, writers, teachers, moviemakers, and scientists.  The evidence-based lessons have depth and are connected to contemporary and personal circumstances.

Pavlov, Skinner, William James, Viktor Frankl, Nietzsche, Jonas Salk, Anne Sullivan, Henry Knox and others of that caliber are dialogued.  Participants learn about how life enrichment will build new neural connections, reduce impulsive, emotional reactivity and strengthen problem-solving ability.    Participants learn from each other and Dr. Zylstra that they are not alone in their struggle to live a dignified life.   Lessons are reinforced with metaphors and object lessons.  

Dr. Zylstra’s motivation as an instructor is a personal quest to understand and support a population of people who have struggled so deeply and have lost so much.  He has an intense need to share his talents and compassion with them to teach them personal resilience in mind, body, and spirit.  


LeNise Zylstra, M.Ed., SPC

 
LeNise graduated from Brigham Young University with Masters and Psychology Specialist degrees.  She is active in mentoring children and adults by facilitating and expediting resilient, hardy behavior.  She is a personal empowerment and resiliency teacher, and presenter at integrative health conferences.  In addition, she teaches anger management and parenting classes, and counsels with youth and their parents.  


LeNise has also served as project coordinator of a team that provided family support and advocacy in strengthening protective factors in children and families.  She worked for many years as a school psychologist where she mentored graduate level practicum students and interns and chaired school-wide character education and anti-drug programs.

SAMPLE RESILIENCE COURSE OUTLINE

Lesson I:  Erroneous Thinking and Impermeable Behavior

Lesson II:  Metaphor of the crucible

Lesson III: Neuroplasticity and Your Brain

Lesson IV: Transformation Out of Chaos

Lesson V: The Duality of the Soul, The Good Self and the Bad Self,


Lesson VI: The Psych- Out, Psych-Up


Lesson VII Self–Talk and Outcomes


Lesson VIII:  Receptivity/Trusted Allies 

Dr. Zylstra’s Favorite Slogans

"Have confidence, stick with an intelligent action plan, be teachable, be resilient by bouncing back from setbacks----everyone needs these skills to succeed in life!"

"Adjust when necessary, learn new, healthy behaviors.  You are teachable, flexible and infinitely intelligent.  There is a sleeping giant in you; Awaken the giant!  Let the giant make a showing today!" 

"Rebound.  Do it for yourself, you are worthy of self-respect and self-love.  Your determination to be in charge of your life and make a difference is in your hands." 

"Put the negatives of your past in a place only you can call a memory.  Live for the gift that is today.  The direction you are headed is more important than where you have been." 


Testimonials


“I love your class, you have a very large heart and a passion for what you do.”


“The information you teach us is more than about addiction, it is how to do life more successfully”.   


“I feel empowered and encouraged.”  


“My life is a miracle – every day I walk is a miracle – you have helped enrich my life – with your teachings and support I see myself improving!


“You have helped me to change my mental processing, the way that I think and view the world.  I also learned new things that will help me correct my negative behavior.  Thank you, Al.”