The mission of Starkville Bridges Out of Poverty (Starkville Bridges) is to eradicate poverty in Oktibbeha County by providing education and resources for people in poverty to transition into the middle-class. Starkville Bridges breaks down existing paradigms about poverty and seeks to bridge the middle-class with low-income citizens, so they can understand and learn each other’s hidden rules for the overall betterment of the community.
Starkville Bridges involves three main components:
- Educational training for middle-class participants to understand the truths about poverty
- Gives the middle class insights on poverty and a shared language for which to work with impoverished communities
Getting Ahead in a Just Gettin’ by World (Getting Ahead) class
- 16 session, 2.5 hour classes for people in poverty
- Teaches the causes of poverty, the hidden rules of the middle-class, and how to build resources
Building Bridges for Kids (BB4K)
- With the assistance of members from the Starkville Bridges Steering Committee, the Maroon Volunteer Center designed a children’s mentor program called BB4K.
- The program trains college students to act as volunteer mentors to children between the ages of 3 and 15.
- The children are from the families of the Getting Ahead class co-investigators.
Moving Ahead Master’s Program (in development)
- Middle-class participants are allied with the graduates from the Getting Ahead class in this two-year program
- Allies help the graduates implement their plans of action created in the Getting Ahead class by guiding, providing support and providing resources