Based on the approach first suggested by Phil DeVol, co-author of the book Bridges Out of Poverty, this class works with 10-15 individuals from the community to help them understand their current situations, what their ideal situations would be and how to build resources to arrive at those ideal situations. Also, the class discusses other various topics, such as the causes of poverty and the hidden rules of the middle-class.
This class takes place once a year for sixteen weeks. Each week, there is a class during one evening that lasts for 2.5 hours. A meal is also provided at the beginning of each class and lasts for around 30 minutes.
The classes consist of co-investigators (those from the community wishing to understand their situations), co-facilitators (previous Getting Ahead graduates) and facilitators (volunteers from the community willing to help guide the class through the various topics).
Child-care is provided through the Building Bridges for Kids (BB4K) program led by the Maroon Volunteer Center. This program takes the basics that the parents are discussing in the Getting Ahead class and puts those basics into a child-friendly format. The children have the opportunity to play, learn and build a relationship with a Maroon Volunteer mentor.