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The Work of THRIVE! Butler


The need for a comprehensive anti-poverty initiative for Butler County is great. There are very few organizations devoted to equipping people to better their economic situations, and those that do exist depend heavily on staff and are limited by the staff person’s capacity and case load.

THRIVE! Butler is serving people living in poverty, with an emphasis on people who are generationally poor, meaning poverty is a way of life going back several generations. 

THRIVE! Butler utilized the services available through the Aha! Process, based on Ruby Payne’s work: Getting Ahead in a Just-Gettin’-By World.  This book, and its 16-session curriculum, helps individuals in poverty build their resources for a more prosperous life for themselves, their families, and their communities. The Aha! Process helped us develop a 16-week course called Getting Ahead. Organizing active and successful Getting Ahead cohorts is the work of THRIVE! Butler.


Getting Ahead is a collaborative effort of up to 12 individuals, currently living in poverty, ready to learn new tools and ways to think that will change their lives. Every participant is considered a subject matter expert in poverty, and as such are paid for their time.


Over the 16 weeks, the Getting Ahead programming:

  • Helps people reflect on their life and the role they have played in maintaining their own poverty

  • Educates people on how the various social classes have different perspectives and ways of approaching the world

  • Encourages people to identify career and educational goals, spiritual and emotional goals, relationship goals, and physical health and wellness goals.

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Each week community volunteers provide meals for the meeting with the participants, and after the meal, adults go to a class preparing them to take steps towards a stable and secure future. The site team for each location is responsible for acquiring community groups to provide the meals and the child care during the meetings, ensuring that all needs of the participants are met to allow for concentration and full engagement. 

At the end of the 16-week course, a graduation party is held, and our participants become Team Leaders. Team Leaders are matched with people who have been trained in understanding economic class differences called Team Ally's, as they have committed to coming alongside the Team Leaders to leverage their social networks for the Team Leader’s gain.  

Contact us for the next classes in either Andover, El Dorado, and soon in Leon Kansas.  If your community would like to discuss sponsoring a Thrive! Butler class,  please go to the Contact Us page and write to us.