Avedis awards $101k grant to Shawnee Bridges

Vicky O. Misa
The Shawnee News-Star
Shawnee Bridges Out of Poverty received a grant for more than $100,000 from the Avedis Foundation. At center left, Tiffany Walker, executive director of Shawnee Bridges Out of Poverty, stands with Dr. Kathy Laster, president and CEO of the Avedis Foundation, at center right. They are joined by board members from Shawnee Bridges Out of Poverty and Avedis.

Shawnee Bridges Out of Poverty just received a $101,120 grant from The Avedis Foundation.

Shawnee Bridges — initially operating as Neighboring 101 Inc. when it started in Shawnee — will continue to educate students under the leadership of Executive Director Tiffany Walker.

The initiatives of Shawnee Bridges connect those living in poverty with the resources they need to succeed by bridging the gap between individuals in need and a connected system of support that understands the unique culture of poverty.

Through peer support in its classes — Getting Ahead, Staying Ahead and Blueprints Drafting Success — student investigators use their own life experiences as a context for learning about the causes of poverty, the environments of economic class, the hidden rules of class, and the theory of change to help them transition out of poverty. Classes use Dr. Ruby Payne’s “Bridges Out of Poverty” framework as curriculum.

“The Avedis Foundation is pleased to support Shawnee Bridges Out of Poverty with this grant,” Avedis Foundation President and CEO Dr. Kathy Laster, said. “Tiffany Walker and her passionate board, are working to strengthen the capacity of this organization to provide impactful services, while building strong community partnerships for continued success.”

Since Shawnee Bridges was established here, it has facilitated 10 Getting Ahead focus groups, with more than 100 individuals completing the program.

“We our very thankful in receiving this grant from the Avedis Foundation,” Shawnee Bridges Out of Poverty Executive Director Tiffany Walker said. “This funding will allow us to further bridge the gap for the under-resourced by providing the opportunity to rise out of poverty and create stability in their lives.

For story ideas, questions or concerns, reporter Vicky O. Misa can be reached at vicky.misa@news-star.com.

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