Getting Ahead by Going For It

posted 1/6/21 -- After COVID-19 put the entire world under the tyranny of the moment, Brittainy Schaner found her solution – and a potential solution for the families she touches – in Getting Ahead.

LCCAA’s first online Getting Ahead class was literally delivered from facilitator Amy Steele’s kitchen table and included the LCCAA Head Start Family Service Worker and two others.

“Taking Getting Ahead during COVID was the best thing that happened to me during COVID,” Brittainy said. “It gave me some direction and something to focus on.”

Brittainy said she grew up in poverty but moved into middle class when she married. After living and teaching in North Carolina for several years, she returned to the area as a single mom approximately two years ago, she said. She is now in her second year as a Family Service Worker at Hopkins Locke Head Start.

Overcoming her own obstacles had exhausted her until she found Getting Ahead.

“This group gave me an opportunity to share my story in a safe environment,” she said. “That was healing for me. The discussions are good and they’re deep. I was able to use those moments very effectively.”

Brittainy said Getting Ahead taught her a lot about other people’s perspectives and the things she didn’t realize were holding her back. It also gave her the courage to try new things.

“It’s okay to try and it’s okay to fail,” she said, adding that she is eager to use what she had learned to help her Head Start families, especially about how many resources can be found in the community.

“It was a reminder of how I need to talk to my families,” she said. “I’m able to connect with them more now than I did last year.”

Brittainy also plans to work on her bachelor’s degree, she said.

“My biggest take away was really recognizing the obstacles that I thought I had and things that I thought were mountains,” she said. “And realizing there is a lot of help in this area to help me climb those mountains.”