Submitted by KAREN BAKER

Nine clients from the Agape Center graduated from the sixth Getting Ahead Program on Dec. 9.

The 17-session class, taught by Jan Hogle and Glenn Rebman, provided education on budgeting and nutrition.

At the graduation ceremony, each of the graduates shared what impacted them the most during the classes.

“Most people think of poverty in terms of money, but I’ve learned that there is more to poverty than finances,” Joey Brewer said. “There is spiritual poverty, relationship poverty, and these are far more significant to be able to solve.”

Many of the graduates said they learned the most important resource to have and continue to build is their relationship with God. For others it was the friendships they made during the class.

“This program is so worth the effort,” Chasiti Bradbury said. “We have made very close, deep friendships, and that means a lot for us.”

The Agape Center at Smith Mountain Lake provides mentoring, food, clothing, household goods, furniture and more to those in need in the community. More than 300 volunteers serve an average of 2,500 individuals per month from Bedford and Franklin counties.

The Agape Center also is a partner program of Feeding America Southwest Virginia.

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