AIM House Clients Experiment in Life Lab

AIM House/Life Lab participants have a variety of options for higher education, including the University of Colorado at Boulder

Starting this summer, AIM House clients will now take advantage of Life Lab! Held at Madelife in downtown Boulder, Life Lab offers individualized academic, vocational and executive functioning support in a co-working environment.

The academic and/or vocational aspects of the AIM House program have always been a priority, but what makes Life Lab innovative is the acknowledgement that skills needed for academic and professional success overlap and intersect into all areas of life. By offering young people a space to explore these skills in the context of both immediate goals and overall executive functioning, the result is not simply immediate success, but also the ability to capitalize on what they’ve learned and practiced in the lab for years to come. Life Lab workshops and study/coworking sessions are taught and proctored by expert mentors. Students can work in groups and individually!

After nearly twenty years of helping young adults find and sustain success and wellness, AIM House leadership and staff have recognized a few patterns along the way. While participants certainly enter the program with varying academic or occupational goals, many of the skills or resources that they must learn and practice to be successful are congruent. Matt Sullivan, program director, explains: “the same personal accountability that allows for someone to show up to an 8am class, attend office hours, and apply for admission to college also motivates a young person to continue to attend recovery meetings and take ownership of their recovery. We can empower them to stay sober and be successful at the same time.” Sullivan’s goal in Life Lab is to offer someone support with their individualized “AIM” plan (their educational/vocational aspirations), while simultaneously emphasizing how retaining the skills they learn will also be beneficial to their recovery. Not every young adult will study for exams the exact same way, so it’s important that support and coaching of these skills remains individualized… Life Lab is the place to experiment and for students to figure out how they can best find results. While exceptional academic and career advising has always set AIM House apart—Life Lab takes this further by really emphasizing overall executive functioning. Effective study habits and focus tools learned in Life Lab will be just as useful for those constructing resumes for entry-level positions as they are for those working on classes at the University of Colorado.

The Life Lab format creates space for learning new skills, group work, and of course time to work on individual classwork, creative projects, resumes, etc. AIM House participants have the thriving city of Boulder at their fingertips—academic institutions, diversity of employment and internship opportunities, creative mentorship programs and apprenticeships, and countless community service organizations. Boulder is home to the University of Colorado Boulder, Naropa University and Front Range Community College. Well established companies across various industries (technology, outdoor/adventure, media and arts) have campuses in Boulder, not to mention it’s also a popular town for entrepreneurs and start-ups.

If taking advantage of a community like Boulder is how young people fulfill their goals and find success, Life Lab is the space in which the AIM House community experiments and learns how to best take advantage of Boulder.

Life Lab runs regularly throughout the week and will carry on year round. AIM House and Madelife welcome visitors and friends to stop by!

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