Operation Forward

Our Story


Operation Forward is a program aiming to reduce inequalities in education by providing an accessible curriculum covering financial literacy and vocational training. The program began on the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign campus, and was created through a student organization called Enactus, driven to address social issues in the local and international community through entrepreneurship.

To address a lack of a vocational training program at the only women's shelter in Champaign, a few students decided to come together to create a curriculum and utilize their school's resources to provide training aimed to help the women gain financial stability. To insure the sustainability of the program, the project transitioned to working alongside an employee at the shelter to assist them in learning how to conduct the lessons and alter the curriculum to address the women's specific vocational interests. This platform was then created as a means to "train the teacher," while insuring the customizability of our program, and allow students and teachers easy access to our curriculum. 


Illinois Enactus

Founded in 2007, our organization exists to create real change through our projects while preparing our members to succeed in their future careers. We are a community of student, academic, and business leaders committed to using the power of entrepreneurial action to transform lives and shape a better more sustainable world. Where others see challenge, we see opportunity. 


Operation Forward

Our project, called "Operation Forward" stemmed from our goal to help develop the women of Courage Connection, the only domestic violence shelter in the Champaign-Urbana community, in achieving financial stability through facilitating a comprehensive vocational training curriculum that covers topics such as financial literacy, continuing education, and mastering a job interview. 


Creating Lessons

Our team worked through the past few semesters to create a comprehensive, tailored professional development program that teaches a wide array of life skills and professional lessons. 


Teaching & Feedback

Our team taught the program at Courage Connection, and then passed it on to their internal team to teach, following up each week to gain insights and feedback about potential improvements.


Growing the network

Our goal by creating this platform is impact and reach more than just the women at CC, and to give easy to use access and directions to anyone interested in teaching the program.