Life-changing program helps Fannin County woman
BONHAM, Texas (KTEN) -- The Getting Ahead program is designed to provide Fannin County residents living in poverty with the resources to lead them toward a better life.
Lasonya Elmore, who said she had been an addict for 23 years, turned her life around after graduating from the 16-week workshop.
"I'm going to tell you: When I got to the Getting Ahead program, I had a warrant out for my arrest; I was working a dead-end job; I was living with my mom; I didn't have my own vehicle. Like, life seemed pretty stuck," Elmore said. "I thought, because I was born poor, I was always going to be poor."
Elmore committed to change her narrative.
"Through the duration of the class I got a better job, I just paid off my car, I moved out, life started happening," she said.
And Elmore didn't stop at just bettering her own life.
"I give 10 percent, and I put back 10 percent," she said. Now she gets to help people who were in the same situation she was in before recognizing her potential.
Getting Ahead helps people build their resources for a more prosperous life. It takes them through an eight-course module to understand their stuck point and how to break the mold.
"It can be generational, it can be situational: Poverty is poverty," said Patty Kreiter, Fannin County's program facilitator. "Most people are really good, they've just made some really bad decisions, and if they don't have some help turning that around they may never turn that around."
Individuals in the program get a $25 stipend for attending the once-a-week meeting, a meal before the meeting, and child care.
The workshop also involves a forum where participants meet with local leaders, like the county judge and members of the city council.
The Bonham Public Library is working in conjunction with the program after hosting a similar class for the first time on Monday. Adulting 101 is a financial literacy class to prepare college-ready young adults for independent living. It equips them with the knowledge to grow their wealth before it's too late.
"We are all about enriching lives," says the library's director, John Hayden. "I would encourage people to come to those classes and learn what to do today before you get down the road."