Reducing poverty–Making a difference one person at a time

November 30, 2007 Published by

As an employee of aha! Process, one of the things I hear so often is, “Oh, you work for Ruby Payne.” Yes, I do, but what is more meaningful is that I work for an organization that is reducing poverty by creating change in the lives of individuals in poverty and in the lives of the professionals who work with individuals in poverty.

I was on an airplane headed for a workshop, and the woman next to me was reading A Framework for Understanding Poverty. Before I introduced myself, I asked her about the book. She went on and on about how it was the best book she had ever read and that it made her life as a teacher so much more rewarding. She could not believe I worked for Ruby, and we ended up in another conversation about the work and the concepts.

Another time, a good friend of mine picked up her sister at the airport, and her sister could not stop raving about this book she was reading about understanding the mindsets of economic class. She couldn’t believe the impact it had on her work as a chaplain in a hospital. It gave her the words and tools to understand the patients she was working with.

aha! Process defines poverty as the extent to which a person does without resources—which consist of more than just money. Poverty involves a realm of particular rules, emotions, and knowledge that overrides all other ways of building relationships and making a life. For more than ten years we have been dedicated to impacting the education and lives of individuals in poverty. Our focus on transforming lives has taken us from one employee (Dr. Payne) and her book in 1995 to 33 employees, 71 consultant trainers, and 112 products.

My work with aha! Process revolves around marketing and event planning for some of our workshops. Some days I’m almost too swamped to appreciate the work we do. Other days I’m very mindful of the results we see and hear from our clients. I know that in your work you have contributed to the changing of lives. In that regard, what we do is like Chicken Soup for the Soul; we create the platform for good things to happen for many individuals. Please share your success stories with us. It is your successes that keep us motivated on days when we are tired and think we’ve not made progress. I’m looking forward to hearing from you.

-Ruth Weirich

Vice President, Marketing

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This post was written by Ruth Weirich

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