Residents graduate from ‘Getting Ahead’


Staff report



Mindy Swiger, a graduate of the “Getting Ahead” program, talks about how important the classes have been to her.


Courtesy photo

LaShonda Hixson talks about the “Getting Ahead” program during the graduation ceremony at the Alpha Center.


Courtesy photo

Graduates of the first “Getting Ahead” program are, left to right, Chrissy Beck, Billie Campbell, LaShonda Hixon, Sarah Beck, Jaelynne Grieffith, Sonia Holycross, facilitator, and Mindy Swiger. Missing from the picture Anthony and Christie Mayer.


Courtesy photo

SIDNEY — The Alpha Community Center recently concluded its first session guiding eight adult students through the “Getting Ahead” curriculum.

The hands-on educational workbook/workshop leads students through 10 weeks of information broken down in to modules. The material is designed to give students insight into their particular personal reasons for being/remaining in poverty, and providing the tools needed to elevate these students onto the path to a better life.

The students are called “investigators” because they thoroughly study or investigate the material to search for answers and conclusions leading to their personal epiphany. Each module builds on the last to create a foundation that supports transformational change.

Module One deals with “My Life Now,” then proceeds to the research on causes of poverty, hidden rules of economic class, language barriers, how to identify the resources you have and the ones you need to develop, assessing strengths and weaknesses of the community, and establishing definitive, achievable goals with specific timetables.

“Each one of the eight graduates was moved by the 10 week study and each one left with concrete goals and plans for a better future,” said Director Jan Geuy. “It was an amazing transformation and one I felt privileged to watch. The Community Foundation of Sidney/Shelby County provided a grant to assist with the cost of the course and we are grateful to them for their support and willingness to commit, along with Alpha Center, to a better future for these adults.”

The Alpha Community Center plans to conduct one more class session in 2017, beginning in the fall.

“Our hope is to garner further community support allowing us to move into 2018 with more sessions scheduled,” she said. “If you want to know more, or want to support or enroll in Getting Ahead, call the Alpha Center at 498-9758.”

Partners in Hope of Troy, Ohio, assisted with the training, manuals and facilitation. Under the direction of Sonia Holycross, the Alpha Center staff learned how to facilitate the class ourselves.

“This will not only save money, but ensure that we have the skills among our staff and volunteers to continue offering ‘Getting Ahead’ for the benefit of future investigators looking for a proven path to a better life,” she said.

“The Alpha Community Center is committed to improving the quality of life for adults and families in our community,” said Geuy. “Through education and information, we can transform those who are being supported into those who can support and give back as productive citizens. The investment in their futures is an investment in ours as well.”

Mindy Swiger, a graduate of the “Getting Ahead” program, talks about how important the classes have been to her.
http://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2017/06/web1_IMG_8846.jpgMindy Swiger, a graduate of the “Getting Ahead” program, talks about how important the classes have been to her. Courtesy photo

LaShonda Hixson talks about the “Getting Ahead” program during the graduation ceremony at the Alpha Center.
http://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2017/06/web1_IMG_8859.jpgLaShonda Hixson talks about the “Getting Ahead” program during the graduation ceremony at the Alpha Center. Courtesy photo

Graduates of the first “Getting Ahead” program are, left to right, Chrissy Beck, Billie Campbell, LaShonda Hixon, Sarah Beck, Jaelynne Grieffith, Sonia Holycross, facilitator, and Mindy Swiger. Missing from the picture Anthony and Christie Mayer.
http://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2017/06/web1_group.jpgGraduates of the first “Getting Ahead” program are, left to right, Chrissy Beck, Billie Campbell, LaShonda Hixon, Sarah Beck, Jaelynne Grieffith, Sonia Holycross, facilitator, and Mindy Swiger. Missing from the picture Anthony and Christie Mayer. Courtesy photo

Staff report