"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.

Programs & 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.
  • Read the Getting Ahead Flier

Getting Ahead


Grow Your Career | The Road Ahead
(A Howard County program designed to help participants reach financial stability.)

Getting Ahead Facebook page

AHA Process! Getting Ahead


Staying Ahead


Staying Ahead

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:

Howard County Central Library

10375 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia, MD 21044

6:00 PM - 7:30 PM


For more information about Staying Ahead please contact Marchelle LeBlanc using the contact button below.




Staying Ahead Podcast

The goal of the Staying Ahead podcast is to inform, uplift and enlighten graduates of our Getting Ahead (GA) initiative, as well as the community. In the process encourage businesses and community organizations to partner in ways that will help us to improve our well-being and increase self-sufficiency for all.

Listen to the Podcasts




Staying Ahead Committees

Speakers Bureau-Chairperson: Monica Petty

Book Club-Lead Facilitator: Shannon Taitt

Planning/Outreach/Advocacy-Chairperson: Sandra Price




These partner organizations are host sites for the Getting Ahead Program:

  • Howard County Department of Community Resources and Services
  • Hope Works of Howard County
  • Howard County Department of Housing
  • Howard County Department of Corrections
  • Laurel Woods Elementary School
  • Howard Community College
  • Bridgeway Community Church 
  • Howard County Office of Workforce Development
  • Community Action Council of Howard County
  • Tuerk House
  • The Jacaranda Center

Getting Ahead Promotional Video


Getting Ahead Program Testimonial


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