A new round of participants in the Opportunity Council’s Economic Self-Sufficiency (ES) program in Quakertown has just completed the first level of Self-Sufficiency training. Senior Self-Sufficiency Coaches Tammy Schoonover and Stacy Kaiser led six participants through Getting Ahead, a 15-week collaborative investigation into the root causes and effects of poverty.
“Every Getting Ahead participant is offered an opportunity to attend the class, learn about the causes of poverty and assess their personal situation,” explained Erin Lukoss, Director of the Self-Sufficiency program. “The resource plan they develop is the first step as they work toward creating a positive future story.”
The Getting Ahead sessions are held in small group discussion format, which allows each participant to engage and contribute fully to the investigation. The feedback BCOC staff receives from the participants is utilized to shape future Getting Ahead programs.
The program is held at various locations throughout Bucks County, but Stardust Ceramics, Inc. of Perkasie, PA generously donated their space for our round of Getting Ahead participants to complete their investigation into poverty.
At the end of the Getting Ahead program, Stardust Ceramics, Inc. had a surprise planned for the ES participants. They were given supplies to create their own ceramic item after the session! Weknow that the participants will treasure these pieces as a memento of their hard work and personal journeys towards achieving self-sufficiency!
After completing the Getting Ahead program, the ES participants will work with a BCOC Self-Sufficiency Coach, who will help them form a personalized plan for permanently leaving poverty.
The Opportunity Council is eager to move forward with these hardworking Bucks County residents to help them achieve their goals! BCOC would also like to thank Stardust Ceramics for their very thoughtful donations of materials and work space!
A special thanks to Photos by Hillary for the wonderful photos of our Getting Ahead class!