Like many communities know, Getting Ahead transforms lives, changes thought processes, and helps participants achieve stability. I have a wonderful success story to share about one of our Getting Ahead graduates who is now employed at my agency, Miami Valley Community Action Partnership, as the Getting Ahead program administrator.

Marsha, who is currently raising her teenage granddaughter, has been struggling to get by since the passing of her late husband. For a number of years she was depressed and in a dark place and didn’t know how to get out of it. Marsha has worked hard to gain employment but has had no luck. According to her, she was old, had no teeth, and for those reasons, no one would hire her. Losing her teeth affected her confidence and overall self-esteem.

However, when I first met Marsha, I knew she had a future story. Marsha was very organized, always on time, and really bought into being a Getting Ahead investigator. In fact, during the community assessment activity, Marsha introduced herself to public agencies as a Getting Ahead investigator.

Marsha remained diligent throughout her learning process and regained a bit of the confidence through the support of her peers in the Getting Ahead group. She felt very much needed and had a newfound purpose in the community.

After Marsha completed Getting Ahead, our agency was able to assist with purchasing full dentures for her, and she began helping me with various administrative tasks. Due to the success and projected growth of our program over the next two-year grant period, we added a program administrator position to assist with the many tasks associated with our Getting Ahead program. Marsha was a perfect fit for the position!

I’m grateful for Marsha’s assistance and expertise. I’m grateful for what the process of Getting Ahead has done for Marsha, other Getting Ahead grads, and myself. I’m super excited to continue working shoulder to shoulder with Getting Ahead investigators in building resources and stability in ways I did not think possible.