I began do-over.me on March 23, 2014. With a 100% volunteer staff, do-over.me ministers to individuals sixteen and up, providing education and services to help people view change as opportunity rather than crisis.  Our vision is to create a ‘tribe’ of people who see crisis as opportunity, and change as a positive part of life. We want to enable everyone to embrace change joyfully; to move forward in life so that they can live the best they can be, and contribute all they can to the communities they live in.

In the summer of 2014, I experienced several challenges – major surgery, a sixtieth birthday, unexpected job loss, and empty-nesting. As a single mom for over twenty years, I was no stranger to facing down challenges. This was different. I sunk into a very deep depression that included self medicating with food and alochol and even suicidal thoughts. I struggled hard to pull myself through it.

Bella, the do-over.dog with her mark of love - my lipstick on her forehead.

Bella, the do-over.dog with her mark of love - my lipstick on her forehead.

I'm no stranger to the mental and emotional difficulties springing from a difficult period in life, but this was different.  And a lot harder.  As I rose from the personal turmoil I made some new realizations.  I realized I had to do some things I had never done before. The old ways weren’t going to work anymore. I got a roommate; it was the first time I had ever lived with a non-family member. I found him on Craigslist. People thought I was nuts.  I adopted a dog; Bella, the do-over.dog changed my life. She makes me smile and provides unconditional love.  These sources of personal relationship began to bring me healing. I needed laughter and fun in my life desperately. I joined an IMPROV troupe; initially IMPROV was a part of my do-over because it made me laugh, but I quickly realized the many other benefits IMPROV provides.

Working from home in early 2013

Working from home in early 2013

As I dug myself out of depression and tried to figure out what to do going forward, an idea emerged. Maybe I could help others who were ‘stuck’ because of the many changes they were facing. Maybe I could create a ‘tribe’ of people who would support and hold each other accountable: a physical place where people come together to learn to face change with joy and continue to grow into all that they are meant to be.  I admit this might sound corny, but I firmly believe in the premise. I believe everyone has the inherent right to be happy; the right to have access to all the tools necessary to get them what they want. Everyone deserves to achieve their definition of success and happiness, and to flourish.

Ribbon cutting with Geneva Mayor Kevin Burns and so many do-over,me friends. December 1, 2014.

Ribbon cutting with Geneva Mayor Kevin Burns and so many do-over,me friends. December 1, 2014.

With this idea in mind, I found a physical place for this exact purpose: to bring people together into a ‘tribe’, a community of support to help people achieve the best they can be. At 1141 Commerce Drive in Geneva you will find a vibrant, colorful building office full of loving, encouraging people. We meet people where they are and help them with what they need to move forward.

do-over.me has ministered to over 300 people since we began. We have helped a client with pro bono speech therapy to correct a lisp; another client who could not drive obtain a bicycle to get around for a job; another client with basic household budgeting.

My own business background provides me with an advantaged ability to help those who are looking to build a strong professional position, confident presentation.  My background, eighteen years in B2B marketing and eleven years in executive recruiting, allows me to bring a unique perspective to writing a resume.  We do many resume and LinkedIn profile revisions, interview coaching, and mock interviews for those who are looking for better work. We also teach networking and how to successfully navigate the current job market. Whether you want to find a new job; retire, but still contribute; take your life in a different direction after a health scare, a divorce, or after the kids are gone, do-over.me can help.  We provide both hard and soft skills that allow people to develop the tools that they need to move forward.

I have seen first-hand the enormous benefit do-over.me can bring to people. Let me tell you a story about a single woman who walked through our doors in July of last year. Mary is an educated, single woman who has faced many challenges in her life, including most recently a very acrimonious divorce, a serious, life-changing health issue, the death of her last living relative, and a significant, physical move. She was working part-time in a retail environment. With the most recent reduction in hours, she was left with about $78 per month after paying her rent.  Mary drove a beater car, did not have life insurance, and was on food stamps. “She was scared and alone,” 

Only eight weeks later, with the help of a new resume and LinkedIn profile, some interview coaching and a hot lead, Mary accepted a permanent, full-time job in an office environment. Almost a year later, she is still there, slowly building her strength and her confidence along with her bank account. “She still has a long way to go. do-over.me still provides support. Now, she has a fighting chance.

There are lots of stories like Mary’s. All are the same and all are different. People need support; support with hard skills like resume writing, but also with soft skills like confidence building. do-over.me provides this support.

This support comes in many different forms. do-over.me is a not-for-profit organization. It is our goal, at do-over.me, to support everyone regardless of their ability to pay.” Individuals are invited to to register for a minimum donation of $25 for the year. Some individual services are offered at a flat rate, some on a sliding scale, and some are free; veterans are always served at no charge. In addition to scholarship opportunities, one-on-one training, group workshops, and discussion and accountability groups, they also provide many classes.

We believe in forming the whole person. This reaches beyond the hard skills of resume writing and educational information – it touches the personhood of the individual. Soft skills such as emotional health, spiritual vitality, and a loving, confident attitude are just as important for achieving success and happiness in life.  We are unlike any other career transition center in the area because we recognize that for people to move forward after any significant challenge, they need to be supported as a fully functioning individuals with attention to physical, cognitive, emotional, and spiritual facets of their life.  This is why we offer personality assessment profiling to help people understand their own unique skills and what they can contribute to others. This builds happiness and self-reliance in an individual.  In addition, carrying over my own benefits from a do-over, we have incorporated IMPROV classes into do-over.me. Everyone needs to laugh more, and there’s a surprising amount of real world skills that one can learn from the games of improv.  For more on IMPROV visit here.

We do not live in an autonomous world, unaffected by one another. On the contrary, we are deeply connected individuals who thrive on personal, supportive relationships. On our "Start with Why" page, there are several headlines from papers and the web that point to a very real struggle in our world. It is a struggle we can rise above; a challenge we can overcome. This is do-over.me’s mission: to see crisis as a positive opportunity for change so that individuals, with a supportive community behind them, can rise to claim their rightful place in this beautiful, opportunity-rich world.