Getting Ahead Program

Over 16-20 weekly sessions, the Getting Ahead program helps low-income adults transition into self-sufficiency by facilitating a process for people to investigate economic realities, examine their own lives, complete a self-assessment of resources and make plans to build on them. Through this co-investigative process, participants learn to take responsibility for their decisions and lives. The program also shows its participants how to use the hidden rules of middle class to build up personal resources and create social capital (connections in/to the middle class) that help them transition to self-sufficiency. Getting Ahead does not provide answers or arguments for change . . . instead it generates motivation, insight and plans from the participants themselves. Upon completion of the program, participants have a renewed sense of hope and have gained the self-confidence to execute a plan of their own to create a "new future story". Subsequent to the program, graduates are matched with subject-matter mentors to provide role models and be a resource in a specific area of need.


With the help of Judge Alicia Littlefield, Bridges is expanding the Getting Ahead Program to include individuals in the Community who want and need to plan for a more stable future.

What Will I Learn

Participants will:

  • Research the causes of poverty, *learn the hidden rules of economic class,
  • Investigate how to develop resources *examine the stages of change,
  • Explore resources that are needed for a higher quality of life.

What Can I Expect

Participants will:

  • Co‐investigate in a safe environment weekly or bi‐weekly with others experiencing poverty.
  • Enjoy power that comes from solving problems, controlling their own lives, and making plans for stability.
  • Receive incentives for their work, including materials, a workbook, snacks, supplies & lots of support.
  • Each group is led by a trained facilitator and co‐facilitator. The co‐facilitator is a GA investigator who has graduated from the program; they will help develop plans and new strategies to implement the investigator’s plan.

Who Can Participate

Individuals living in generational or situational poverty who want to get ahead.

How Do I Sign Up?

You may sign up by contacting Nancy Edwards 918-257-1230.

What happens after I graduate from Getting Ahead?

  • You will have a greater understanding of yourself, your community, & the resources needed to work on your plan.
  • You become a member of a large organization committed to ending poverty in our community in our lifetime.
  • You can stay connected through membership meetings and Bridges Out of Poverty events.
  • You can join decision‐making groups (boards and committees) and feel comfortable in these roles.
  • You can get support for working towards self‐sufficiency.