Cooperative Christian Ministries and Clinic has appointed Dian Glover as the new coordinator for its Getting Ahead classes.
According to a news release, Getting Ahead is a program designed by aha! Process Inc., a training and publishing company, to present the tools of navigating the world with new knowledge and understanding of personal resources. Some of the resources covered during the program's 16 weeks of self-discovery are financial, emotional, coping strategies, education/training, relationships and role models, hidden rules and support systems.
Glover began her involvement with Getting Ahead about three years ago as co-facilitator for the Getting Ahead While Getting Out prison re-entry program at the Garland County Detention Center. She said she looks forward to continuing her participation as co-facilitator for that program in addition to her work with the Getting Ahead program "on the outside."
"I've just seen so many lives have hope from this program, so it's just kind of a best-case scenario for me," Glover said. "It's like a dream job, because I get to do it, and be paid to do it. It's just a really natural step and I'm very excited for the opportunity to get to work with not only the people in the jail, which is where I've been, but in our community. I think it's a huge resource in a way that we can offer hope to our community and people who find themselves in or near poverty."
Lynn Blankenship, CCMC's executive director, said Glover's prior involvement in the program through the detention center is a major benefit.
"Dian has been part of the program since the inception," Blankenship said, "so she has an inside knowledge of how the program works and how it changes lives. That is the benefit that she brings to the table, and our expectation is that she will continue to grow the program."
Plans are in place for CCMC to introduce two more aha! Process programs into Hot Springs: Getting Ahead in the Workplace and R Rules, which is a program geared toward high school students. Both programs are subcategories of the current Getting Ahead program.
Of the R Rules program, Glover said it gives students the resources to adopt a different way of looking at life before they even graduate from high school. The program helps students identify, access, build and apply resources for success in school, at work and in life. CCMC is working on incorporating the program into some of the local school districts, and Glover said they hope to even introduce it at a state level, not just local.
"It's really just an amazing program. It's like these guys in jail, they say, 'We've never heard any of this,' because of their background and the lack of exposure to success. 'How can I get ahead?' or, 'How can I make something of myself?' when they haven't been taught or been given any of that growing up. I can just see amazing things coming from it," Glover said. She added that CCMC is working with Ouachita Children's Center to jump-start the program in Hot Springs.
CCMC will host a seminar for the program in July, to which they will invite teachers and workers in the public school system statewide to learn more about the program.
The Getting Ahead in the Workplace program was designed to give individuals the resources needed to secure stable employment. Focusing on stability in the workforce, the program will, hopefully, build a more loyal and stable workforce for employers in Hot Springs, Blankenship said.
R Rules, Getting Ahead in the Workplace, and the current Getting Ahead class offered by CCMC are all based on the work of Ruby Payne, who wrote the book "Bridges Out of Poverty."
Another thing Glover said she is looking forward to is extending the Getting Ahead program into the correctional facility in Malvern.
"I really love seeing it in the jails because you really see such hopelessness there and it's just amazing. I'm in my 10th class now at the Garland County Detention Center. I just kind of got into it without really knowing what I was doing; I had never even been in a jail. I just waited for God to show me what to do, and this door was opened. It has brought such joy and fulfillment for me. These people are just looking for a better life and self-sufficiency. We all need that," she said. "I just love it and I'm thrilled and honored to be a part of that and have the job."Local on 04/12/2018