Let the party begin! The Spring GR training program came to a close on June 6th with a big graduation celebration. A total of 71 students participated in the program this year, with 18 of them being Streams of Hope’s very own. Most exciting of all? This year’s 1st place winner, Valarie James, was a Streams of Hope student! To provide a little background, Valarie founded VSJ Fitness in 2015.
Her business “creates customized workout plans and offers personal training opportunities that improve the overall wellness goals for women who want to feel supported, motivated, and empowered.” VSJ Fitness was originally Valarie’s blog back in 2015. As a licensed personal trainer with a master’s degree in social work, she wanted to synthesize her two areas of expertise and help women reach their fitness goals. She wrote on topics concerning mental health awareness and the importance of being physically active.
Eventually, Valarie’s passion moved her away from the blog and towards building personal relationships via in-person classes. “Through VSJ Fitness I want to help my clients overcome these challenges and reduce the signs and symptoms associated with mental illness through being physically active. That’s why my mission is to ‘Inspire the Everyday Woman,’ ” she says. As her business grew, she joined the Spring GR class at Streams of Hope to take her business to the next level. She credits Streams of Hope for creating “The Extreme Team” for Spring GR, saying:
“We were able to have a safe space to be completely vulnerable about our struggles and success during the program, offering support and even prayer. I was so nervous to even practice my pitch at Streams of Hope but everyone was so encouraging and that helped me get over my fears. Thanks to Barb and the awesome cooks & team. Each week I looked forward to our Wednesday meetings and still missing everyone!”
Valarie was awarded at graduation night along with the 2nd and 3rd place winners.
Although competition is a part of Spring GR, the program emphasizes training as the most integral aspect. As Arlene Campbell, Chief Creator of Opportunities at Spring GR, put it:
“All of the people who pitched did a fantastic job, and what we like the best here is that we don’t judge the competitions. We emphasize through the training that it’s not all about winning the competition, but it’s about effort, completing the work, and working on goals to move their business or idea forward. All of the people who pitched did a fantastic job.”
This year’s graduating class put the number of total Spring GR alumni to 431 people! Join this impressive alumni network if you are a budding entrepreneur looking for the next step.
Applications for Fall 2019 are now open. Learn more about Spring GR here and contact Barb at to join the class at Streams of Hope.