After receiving a $118,500 grant from Avedis, Neighboring 101 is offering another round of Getting Ahead Classes for the Shawnee community starting Jan. 8.

After receiving a $118,500 grant from Avedis, Neighboring 101 is offering another round of Getting Ahead Classes for the Shawnee community starting Jan. 8.

“These classes are to help people in the community build resource development skills,” Neighboring 101 CEO Steve Palmer said. “We want to help people achieve stability and help build future stories. We want to change the/create a culture that encourages sustainability.”

These classes help individuals explore their options to better themselves and their community, Palmer said.

“We want to break the cycle of poverty in our community,” he said, adding these classes provide information about making better individual choices, community conditions, exploration, policies and economic conditions.

The first Getting Ahead class began in April 2014 with a graduating class of seven individuals. In the following two years there have been six more classes held with a total of 55 individuals graduating from the program.

“Since we are funded by grants and donations, they've helped us with our budgetary needs. We are funded by grants and local donations,” Palmer said.

There are many success stories that have come out of this program, Palmer said.

“Of our graduates we have several that are furthering their education through Gordon Cooper, Rose State, Seminole State,” Palmer said. Several have become employed and are receiving full-time benefits and better pay. We've also noticed an increase in children of graduates are experiencing ways to better their lives.”

The new round of classes start Monday, Jan. 8 at the CPN Workforce and Social Services. Classes will also be held at Wesley United Methodist Church Jan. 8.

Additional classes will be held at Saint Paul's United Methodist Church starting Tuesday, Jan. 8.

Classes meet one time per week from 5:30-8:30. 30-minute dinner provided. Also have the opportunity to have child care and transportation available if needed. 16-20 weeks. Get paid a $25 stipend to attend.

For more information visit the Neighboring 101 Facebook page, call 405-481-6313, email bridgesshawnee@gmail.com, or stop by the office at 231 North Bell in Shawnee.