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2090 Emerson Ave Alliance, NE 69301

Getting Ahead: Bridges-Train the trainer

Posted Apr 20, 2023 6:30 AM
By Patricia Jones, Alliance Community Task Force: Creating Opportunity

Bridges Out of Poverty is a national program which helps us understand the situations being faced by those who live in poverty. Our task force, along with Panhandle Partnership, has brought four Bridges Out of Poverty programs to our area, each with a different focus. Bridges has presented us with strategies to prevent, reduce, and alleviate individual and community instability.

The four Bridges workshops began in June, 2021, with Individual Lens, where we learned about the lack of resources, hidden rules of economic class, and how those in poverty cope. The following October we moved to Institutional Lens, where organizations and agencies learned strategies designed to help them understand and meet the needs of those who face problems like food insecurity and tyranny of the moment. Community Lens was offered in June, 2022. Here community leaders were invited to understand how different economic classes function in our towns and how we can work together to lift more people out of poverty. Last October our final program was Policy Lens, where we talked about government policies and how they affect those needing the social safety net, but whose voices are seldom heard.

This June we are excited to announce that we are offering another Bridges Out of Poverty program – Train the Trainer. This program will be facilitated by national trainers, and we are excited to bring it to Western Nebraska! People who complete this three-day course will be certified by the aha! Process, the parent company of Bridges Out of Poverty. They will be prepared to present Bridges: Individual Lens and Community Lens workshops to individuals in their own communities and organizations.

The workshop will be offered at the Knight Museum and Sandhills Center, 908 Yellowstone Avenue in Alliance, June 6-8. Sessions will begin at 8:30 am and end at 3:30 each day, and lunch will be provided.

Participants will gain a deeper understanding about the strategies and processes used in Bridges programs. They’ll network with others who are passionate about ending or alleviating poverty in our area. And they’ll develop effective poverty reduction strategies that meet the needs of our organizations and our communities. Comprehensive research and training materials will be provided.

Participants must have attended at least one of the previous Bridges programs. Those who were unable to attend may sign up for an online class at

The fee for the Bridges: Train the Trainer workshop is $995 per person. If your organization does not have this kind of training budget, contact Karen Benzel at United Way, Group discounts and scholarships are available! Registration is at Please reach out if you are interested in learning more or if you think you might like to attend.

As we see more economic disparity in our area, we have to realize that we all come from different backgrounds and have different types of problems and different skills. Through the Bridges training, there will be a pool of people who will be able to work with the staff of local agencies. Organizations will be able to call us to have training sessions or to help trouble-shoot problem situations. What this means for our area is that our communities can become stronger.