The Getting Ahead in a Just-Gettin’-By World Inaugural Class had their Graduation Ceremony May 13, 2015 in the sanctuary of the First United Methodist Church in Hot Springs, Arkansas.


GetAhead_5-13-15_041Rev. Dr. Michael Mattox gave the Invocation,


Entry and exit music was provided by Kay Provus, on the church organ.



GetAhead_5-13-15_021Special music was provided by Dian and Thomas Glover.


GetAhead_5-13-15_037 GetAhead_5-13-15_050The graduates.



GetAhead_5-13-15_052A welcome was given by CCMC Executive Director, Lynn BLankenship.


GetAhead_5-13-15_057Program Coordinator, Jill Johnson, spoke to the graduates. 


GetAhead_5-13-15_036Diplomas were presented by Class Facilitator, Mike Prince.


Keynote speakers from among the graduates were:

GetAhead_5-13-15_072Lori Donnor,

GetAhead_5-13-15_073Randy Roberts,

GetAhead_5-13-15_075Terry Robinson,

GetAhead_5-13-15_079and Brenda Hughes.



GetAhead_5-13-15_085The Benediction was done by Dr. Jack Porter.


GetAhead_5-13-15_105Numerous friends, family and other interested people were in attendance.



The Graduating Class:

Alex Clark; Lori Donnor; Staci Fuller; Dawn Gonazlez;

Karissa Hess; Brenda Hughes; Julie Johnson;

Randy Roberts; Terry Robinson; Becky Sheet; Reagan Trott



A celebratory luncheon was held in the Family Life Center of First United Methodist church following the ceremony.


GetAhead_5-13-15_110A cake appeared– with a message for the graduates.


GetAhead_5-13-15_117 GetAhead_5-13-15_115 GetAhead_5-13-15_113 GetAhead_5-13-15_120 GetAhead_5-13-15_119A delicious meal was enjoyed by all.


The graduates provided their facilitators with “thank you” gifts.

GetAhead_5-13-15_123Holly Crise.


GetAhead_5-13-15_122Mike Prince.


GetAhead_5-13-15_124Jill Johnson.




NOTE: The Getting Ahead curriculum:

  • Involves rigorous work done in a safe learning environment with the support of an experienced facilitator and co-facilitator.
  • Enables participants, called “investigators,” to examine their own experience of poverty as well as explore issues in the community that impact poverty − banking, housing, jobs, transportation − providing critical information the community can use to take action to end poverty.
  • Guides investigators through an assessment of their own resources and how to build those resources as part of their move to self-sufficiency.
  • Puts the concepts, tools, and relationships in the hands of people in poverty to make a difference in their own lives and in the life of their community.