TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Getting Ahead is a 16-week course put on by Interfaith Community Services (ICS) and other agencies across Tucson and Pima County. The main focus is getting people out of or farther away from poverty.
“So the Getting Ahead program recognizes that poverty is not something that individuals find themselves in all of a sudden, or it may be something that's situational generational for their family,” said Lauryn Valladarez, the ICS director of Self-Sufficiency Programs.
The getting ahead program has been around in Tucson for several years. But Valladarez says, ICS is the only organization in Tucson that is doing a virtual option for this year.
“According to the World Bank, the number of people experiencing poverty last year, and going into this year is going to double across the world. So that means that filtering through to our little community. There will invetiably many individuals that are experiencing poverty for the first time,” said Valladarez.
Getting Ahead participants examine their own experience of poverty as well as explore issues that impact it. And Valladarez said she enjoys being a part of a program like this to see people’s growth.
“When you want to do good and you give somebody $1 or you give somebody a gift or you give somebody your time, it’s very temporary and a program like this is is really an effort at following someone long term and seeing actual change happening. Individuals when they come out of this or are talking about future plans, whereas they came in looking no further than their nose,” said Valladarez.
The next Cohort for Getting Ahead will begin on Jan. 14, 2021. Meetings will be held virtually every Thursday 9 a.m. – Noon for 17 weeks. The deadline for application is Jan. 11, 2021. Apply here.