CAW/M Launches Getting Ahead Self-Sufficiency Program

In efforts to significantly move the dial on lasting self-sufficiency for families, Community Action Wayne/Medina (CAW/M) is launching Getting Ahead in Wayne County. Designed to support individuals in emerging from poverty, the Getting Ahead program has been shown to be a game changer as participants identify challenges, learn how to overcome them, establish and then achieve goals for household financial stability.

In serving its anti-poverty mission locally for 50 years, CAW/M is uniquely positioned to provide a solution for establishing self-sufficiency through its two-generational approach. Beyond its traditional economic assistance and housing services, Getting Ahead (the participant curriculum of the Bridges Out of Poverty program) is an investment in providing a long-term solution for gaining self-sufficiency and building resources for a better life.

Many local families are unemployed or underemployed. Some Head Start parents work several jobs and still struggle to establish household financial stability. They lack the community network, life skills and soft skills that would advance opportunities for stability. Local employers find that job candidates lack the soft skills that support employability and may have personal challenges that interfere with job reliability.

Getting Ahead guides individuals in learning causes of poverty, understanding their own challenges more fully and then achieving goal progress through building skills and resources and using them effectively. Research outcomes for the program indicate success as participants gain confidence and learn how to determine and reach goals. As one participant noted, “Getting Ahead gave me the drive, the ambition to do something.” Led by a trained facilitator/life coach and supported by peers participants work to leverage current resources and identify new resources in support of household financial stability.

The eight-week program requires participants to dedicate 3 ½ hours, twice a week.

After studying several Getting Ahead models and conducting focus groups, CAW/M will enhance the curriculum with financial literacy and soft skills/work ethic training - using Bring Your A Game to Work curriculum - to support job placement, performance and retention. Participants will become “A Game” certified, which local employers have endorsed.

To further support household financial stability, financial literacy training will individualize learning, financial goal formulation and outcomes measurement while building knowledge progressively, individuals will learn to apply skills and adopt new habits.

“This next chapter of your life isn’t about what others want. It’s about what you want—and taking charge of your life to build your future story,” says Kim Bagby, Getting Ahead life coach.

The program is designed for individuals who are in generational or situational financial difficulty, who want to make changes towards a better future. For more information, please call Kim Bagby @ 330-264-8766, ext. 1005.