Getting Ahead is a 16-week, once a week workshop for individuals in or near poverty. It measures poverty as the extent an individual does without resources. The entire group reads ten modules, and numerous discussions and activities help reinforce the lessons in each module. When presented with this new information, participants are able to think in the abstract and come up with new ideas and solutions on how to solve the same problems they face every day when they live in poverty. Participants can then start making plans for their lives to “get ahead”. The focus of the group is to get participants to make goals and action plans that will help them get out of poverty.
On the path to work, learning, and life, the Getting Ahead program teaches participants how to utilize resources to begin their chosen goal path. There is a focus on language and literacy, and on how that affects our ability to get out of poverty. To transition out of poverty, participants need to learn the formal register of language that will help them get the job. Participants also learn about the rules of money, debt-to-income-ratios, and what wage they need to sustain their families. There is a great deal of self-assessment of resources (mental, physical, financial, etc.) and how to build specific resources.