My relationship has definitely grown stronger due to this process. My wife and I were going through a very stressful time with the transition and REBOOT helped save our marriage in many ways.
When he began the journey of creating REBOOT in 2009, US Navy veteran Maurice Wilson knew he had a plan that could reverse some of the most pressing challenges his fellow veterans face upon transitioning into civilian life, but he couldn’t have imagined how many lives the program would touch.
Four years later, his REBOOT program has successfully helped over 1,200 military vets transition into civilian life with a unique “reverse boot camp” program that focuses on personal and career development. “When people join the military, they are transformed from the outside in,” explains Wilson. “The environment shapes them. That’s necessary for the military. When people transition out of military life, they need to redefine themselves from the inside out.”
With a 95% success rate, REBOOT takes an individualized approach to resolve some of the most serious challenges veterans and their loved ones experience, from financial needs to family issues. With an anticipated 200,000 veterans expected to enter the workforce annually, REBOOT is setting a profound model that helps individuals redefine their identity, and thrive.
The secret to the program’s success, explains Wilson, is to help transitioning active duty military and veterans keep their core military values intact while learning how to shift their mindset from being part of a military team to that of an individual with a unique set of goals and aspirations. For program graduates like Otto Delacruz, a former air traffic controller with the US Navy, REBOOT doesn’t just transform the former service member—it also has a meaningful impact on their family members.
“My relationship has definitely grown stronger due to this process,” says Delacruz, who today serves as a facility coordinator for The San Diego Foundation, a large nonprofit. “My wife and I were going through a very stressful time with the transition and REBOOT helped save our marriage in many ways.”
In addition to transforming participants, REBOOT itself has come a long way since Wilson approached Bank of America for financial assistance to get the program off the ground, armed with a vision and business plan. The program now receives support from institutions like Bank of America. Universities like Pepperdine and UCSD have explored the program in-depth, offering critical scientific validation of the model. Today, REBOOT is expanding from its Southern California base to workshops in Norfolk, Virginia, four counties throughout Michigan, and a Washington program in partnership with City University of Seattle.
“Any individual who has participated in the program will tell you it was a life-changing experience,” says Wilson. “They’ve all transformed—which is exactly our purpose.”
For graduates like Delacruz, that transformation is just the beginning. “I'm still on that quest to find out exactly where I want to be, but that's the fun part of this. You're on another journey and you're trying to reestablish yourself in life. I have this incredible knowledge that I attained at this program and the world is out there just waiting for me.”
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