Getting Ahead


Howard County Executive Allan H. Kittleman and the Department of Community Resources and Services honored graduates and supporters at the 1st annual Getting Ahead Awards Gala on May 20 at the North Laurel Community Center. The Gala was created to recognize graduates for their positive impact on the community, as well as organizations that have supported the program and its participants.   Please click here to view the press release as well as check out this link  about the event as well.


"Getting Ahead in a Just-Gettin’-By World" is the title of a book and a 45-hour workshop that helps individuals in poverty build resources for a more prosperous life for themselves, their families, and their communities.

Getting Ahead Groups in Howard County are an outgrowth of the Bridges out of Poverty initiative of the Board to Promote Self-Sufficiency. The initiative is a two part model that can change the culture of poverty in a community. Bridges out of Poverty provides a framework for service providers to examine how they view and treat those in poverty, while Getting Ahead groups allows people in poverty to examine the effects of poverty on their personal resources and what it takes to improve those resources.

The Getting Ahead curriculum:

  • Involves rigorous work done in a safe learning environment with the support of an experienced facilitator and co-facilitator.
  • Allows 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 their communities.
  • View the Getting Ahead Flier
  • FY 17 Getting Ahead Groups Schedule Coming Soon

Getting Ahead Interest Form
Thank you for your interest in participating in Getting Ahead. Please complete the contact form below and someone will contact you the next business day. If you should have any additional questions, please send them to

Self Care & Stress Relief Workshop Series for Getting Ahead Graduates

  • Every Saturday
    August 6th - August 27th, 2016
    10 AM - Noon
  • The Multiservice Center
    9900 Washington Blvd., Suite I
    Laurel, MD 20723
  • Pre-registration required
    Must attend all four sessions

What is the Staying Ahead program?

Staying Ahead is a companion program to the Howard County MultiService Center Getting Ahead Initiative that is committed to improving lives; encouraging self-sufficiency and continuing the momentum of sustainability. Getting Ahead provides the foundation for understanding the root causes of poverty and focuses on resources needed to rise above it. The next step toward self-sufficiency is Staying Ahead, a free program offering graduates additional resources to stay steady, focused and moving toward a lifetime of success.

What does the Staying Ahead program do?

  • Assists program participants with developing a concrete action plan.
  • Offers key resources to obtain and maintain self-sufficiency.
  • Provides educational workshops and online resources to stay motivated.
  • Hosts community job fairs, networking opportunities and recognition events for participants and graduates.
  • Provides graduates the opportunity to become mentors for others in the program, thereby strengthening the community as a whole.
  • Provides a safe environment of encouragement, mentorship and trust.

Staying Ahead Committee Meeting:

6:00 PM - 7:30 PM

Howard County Central Library

10375 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia, MD 21044

For more information about Staying Ahead please contact:

 Valerie Mathis, Program Coordinator  

410-313-0220 (VOICE/RELAY)