Project Story

The UVU Stronger Families Project (UVU SFP) has improved the lives of families in Utah County through educational interventions. For more than a decade, the project has served over 1,070 families, and invested over 154,000 volunteer hours. Each year, the program provides a career-preparation, real-world experience to about 30 students who are becoming Certified Family Life Educators as they serve members of our community.

When the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted our capacity to meet in person, the Stronger Families Project continued its commitment to provide family life education. The program seamlessly transitioned to a virtual platform for the 2020-2021 year, providing an exceptional experience when, more than ever, families needed support and intervention.

Currently, the program operates in a hybrid model, providing both online and in-person experiences, in Spanish as well as English, as space and staffing allows.

The program curriculum addresses strengths and resilience found in all diverse family types. In both family and individual classes, participants learn about and discuss strategies to implement the following topics:  

  • Family Values
  • Family Rules
  • Problem solving
  • Communication Skills
  • Family meetings
  • Rituals and Routines
  • One-on-one time
  • Interpersonal relationships
  • Community and Family support systems

The UVU Stronger Families Project has been developed as a hub and spoke model comprised of the collective engaged learning efforts of many different departments, programs, and internships across the university. The UVU SFP leverages student engaged learning experiences to help families achieve meaningful and successful lives in a mutually beneficial way.

There are two different ways you as a donor may help support this great work.

Student Learning

If student learning is a primary motivation for your support, the UVU Stronger Families Project offers students a wide variety of engaged learning opportunities. Students from different disciplines may complete their internship, service learning, and volunteer hours with the project. For example, students in our Family Science and other Behavioral Science majors have carried out an 8-week educational program for families impacting parenting habits, children’s social development, and family life skills training. Each night families engage with a family coach, divide into age appropriate classes, and end the night with a family class.

These transformational capstone experiences allow students to apply their skills they have learned in the classroom. You can provide a competitive market hourly rate for 30 interns (15 per semester) for $54,000. UVU departments and programs who can participate in this project include:

  • Family Science
  • Social Work
  • Psychology, Sociology, Anthropology
  • Financial Planning, Business
  • Dental Hygiene
  • Public and Community Health, Nursing
  • Education
  • Communication, Languages

Community Impact

The vision of the UVU Stronger Families Project is for UVU to reach out to the local community to improve the lives of families. We chose the family as the unit to have the greatest impact. Not only can we create change across the community, but also influence future generations at the same time. You can sponsor participating families in multiple ways:

  • Incentives for families for on-time attendance for five sites annually at $900
  • Graduation gift for all graduating families per semester for five sites at $1,500
  • Reward 15 families annually at five sites for completing rigorous post-program surveys at $3,750 

Families who have participated in our program report:

"Our family went through a really traumatizing year last year and we were needing something to help us refocus and reunify. This program has been perfect for that. It has helped us work through some of the difficulty of last year, and we are such a stronger family now. This program has been such a blessing."

-Clair Reed Steininger Hamaker

"I'm so thankful for all the classes, for the people that show their love and support, for their time, for pausing their lives to help us have a better life. I really feel the love they have for us. Best program ever!"

-Dalia Aguilar

"We loved the special attention and enthusiasm that our family liaison gave us. She was absolutely committed to our progress. The object lessons, videos, and ideas were memorable and fun. We also loved getting to know the other families and the trust they showed us by opening up and sharing."

-Past Participant