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“Getting Ahead” Program Holds First Graduation

The Partnership for Prosperity, operating under the Mayor’s Poverty Thought Force, is holding a ceremony for 50 “Getting Ahead” graduates at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 13, at Goodwill Industries in Winston-Salem.  Mayor Allen Joines will preside. The public is invited to attend.

In 2019, the Partnership offered a series of workshops at six locations in Forsyth County for residents who wanted to be proactive in developing resources and strategies that would help to address and lessen the causes of poverty in their own lives and throughout the area.

The 16-week curriculum, based on Phil DeVol’s book, Getting Ahead in a Just-Gettin’-By World, explores factors that impact poverty, such as employment, housing and transportation. During the program’s first graduation ceremony, participants will be recognized as poverty investigators, as they embark upon a mission of identifying and reducing the incidence of poverty in Forsyth County.

Planning is underway to hold additional workshops starting in February, further expanding the number of individuals in the community armed with the tools to help fight poverty. In January, the Partnership for Prosperity, with input from the current “Getting Ahead” investigators, is launching the Graduate Network to support Getting Ahead graduates through monthly networking events. These monthly meetings will provide fellowship and continued opportunities for the graduates to hone their new skills, access resources, and connect as an advocacy group for Forsyth County residents.

For more information on the Getting Ahead program or the Partnership for Prosperity initiative, please contact Partnership for Prosperity Community Engagement Associate Asia Pepper at 336-721-9361 or asia.pepper@uwforsyth.org.

About the Partnership for Prosperity

The Partnership for Prosperity grew out of the Winston-Salem Poverty Thought Force, a group convened by Mayor Allen Joines. In February 2017, the Thought Force issued a report that included 56 recommendations to alleviate poverty. Among those recommendations was one that led to the Partnership as an entity that will coordinate the poverty fight, raise public awareness of it, and advocate for policy changes on a local and state level. The work of the Partnership is supported by grants from United Way of Forsyth County, BB&T, the City of Winston-Salem, the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust, the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation, Wake Forest University and Goodwill Industries of Northwest North Carolina. For more information, visit https://partnershipforprosperityws.org/.

About Winston-Salem Poverty Thought Force

The Winston-Salem Poverty Thought Force is a community wide collaboration spearheaded by the city of Winston-Salem to identify steps both feasible and impactful to reduce the number of residents living in poverty. The Poverty Thought Force was formed in October 2015 and comprises 22 members representing a broad range of Winston-Salem’s civic and academic institutions. The Poverty Thought Force has five subcommittees that focus on various aspects of poverty: health and wellness, housing and homelessness, jobs and workforce development, education and life skills, and hunger and food insecurity.  Visit https://partnershipforprosperityws.org/povertythoughtforce for more information.