Earlier this week I joined one of OCATO’s Internal Consultants (ICs) at a Bridges Out of Poverty training hosted by Ross County Community Action Commission for District Four. Jeffrey Diver, IC and executive director of Supports to Encourage Low-Income Families (SELF), delivered the training and challenged perceptions of poverty to break down stereotypes. By the end of the day, participants had gained a deeper understanding of the obstacles faced by those living in poverty.

Based on the book Bridges Out of Poverty by Ruby K. Payne, this nationally-known concept aims to remove barriers and build stronger and sustainable communities. Certified trainers introduce a framework that includes mental models and Hidden Rules of Class while also discussing key concepts of situational and generational poverty. Jeff facilitated discussions and showed video clips throughout the day to get us all looking through a different lens. The training served as a powerful reminder of what our customers struggle with every day. Each path to self-sufficiency is unique, and the Bridges Out of Poverty training is an excellent way to engage your staff, partners, and community.

Whether you’re a case manager, head start teacher, executive director, or any one of the over 6,000 professionals in the Ohio Community Action Network, this one-day training may be beneficial for you! Trainings are typically free for OACAA members. Visit our website or call us today to find out more.


Kathryn has over a decade of nonprofit experience with more than half of that time spent directly in the Community Action Network. She earned her bachelor’s degree in communications Summa Cum Laude from Franklin University and her associate’s degree from Ohio University. She is currently pursuing her master’s degree in public relations from Kent State University. Kathryn manages the association’s public relations and communications efforts to share the stories and successes of the Community Action Network.

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