GETTING AHEAD EXPERIENCE AT MARION MATTERS.
Here are Ken and Michelle. They are 2016 graduates of the Getting Ahead Experience at Marion Matters. Before Getting Ahead, they describe themselves as ‘working poor.’ They had just enough money to keep the utilities on, but not enough money for food, savings, or basic necessities. While at a Salvation Army food pantry visit, they were recommended to Marion Matters and the Getting Ahead Experience.
Ken says, “Although we went through the experience at the same time, we were in separate groups. We believe that contributed to our personal growth and opened us up to grow as a couple.”
Michelle explains, “Becoming aware of exactly what the 11 Resources are, was enlightening. We were then able to self-assess and find where we are rich in resources and weak in others. Then we could make a successful plan to move forward using our strengths to build up our weak areas.”
Ken and Michelle were part of the first group to present their Community Assessment to Marion City Council.
Ken added, “Then, through doing so, we were able to start expanding our social capital.”
Since graduating the Getting Ahead Experience, Michelle has volunteered on several community projects to give back. She has also attended and spoken at public events to use the hidden rules of language, gain social capital, build motivation and persistence, and improve relationships and role models. Her motivation and persistence has landed her a job at Marion Matters, in turn, improving her financial resources so she can move forward in obtaining her driver’s license and utilize her future plans for her life and the community.
Ken has been able to use the hidden rules of language to attend Tri-Rivers welding classes at his employer’s expense. He has improved his financial standing at work with motivation and persistence. Also, Ken is currently serving on the Board of Directors of Marion Matters. He continues to volunteer at most Marion Matters events.
Ken and Michelle are still attending monthly S.O.A.R. meetings and continuously use the tools given in Getting Ahead to improve their lives and Stay Ahead.
Ken and Michelle declare, “Our future now seems limitless and exciting! We feel like there is nothing that could ever stand in the way of our dreams and goals.”