Stamping out poverty through education

Strive 2 Thrive use volunteers to prep program participants for GED. / Jessica Fairley

The lack of knowledge is often linked to poverty and statistics show that in southwest Georgia, both issues are a problem.

Strive 2 Thrive is set up to help families find their way out but sometimes not having an education holds them back.

This is why local volunteers are joining in the fight.

Before joining up with Strive to Thrive educator Wanda Mallard wanted to give back but didn't know where to start.

After realizing her talents could stretch farther than the classroom, she reached out.

"God gave me the gift of being able to educate somebody or make a difference in someone's life, and well that's just what I'm going to do," said Teacher and Strive 2 Thrive Education Volunteer Wanda Mallard.

And so she is volunteering with the non-profit organization to help families get a hand up on education - all while stamping out poverty.

The director of Strive 2 Thrive is grateful for people like Mallard.

"They brought materials that they've used in the past and pulled information from the internet to help our families," said Strive 2 Thrive Director Ausha Jackson.

Many of the families are struggling to find work because now even basic level jobs require either a GED or a high school diploma.

This is why volunteers are tutoring participants in English and math; to help them get through the GED.

"When they take the exam, they can feel confident that they will pass successfully and go on to obtain a job," said Jackson.

Not only do families get something out of the experience but volunteers learn a lesson also.

"You get to share in the life, in a real way, with the person that before Strive 2 Thrive I knew nothing about," said Mallard.

This sharing gives her the privilege and honor of making a difference in someone's life.

Anyone interested in volunteering with the non-profit organization, Strive 2 Thrive, can contact the director at her office located at 225 West Broad Avenue in Downtown Albany.

Ausha Jackson or another representative for the program can be reached at 229-434-8700.