For employers, educators, & student service professionals

AJAY MT builds capacity in schools and communities by providing workshops focusing on supporting under-resourced students


A Framework for Understanding Poverty


We are certified by aha! Process to facilitate A Framework for Understanding Poverty and Research-Based Strategies. We have delivered workshops to educators and student success staff at the middle school, high school and college levels in addition to organizations such as Montana Federation of Public Employees, Reach Higher Montana, Montana State University Billings, GEAR UP Wyoming and GEAR UP Montana.


A Framework for Understanding Poverty, both a workshop and book by Dr. Ruby Payne of aha! Resources, Inc., focuses on helping students of all economic backgrounds achieve academic, professional, and personal success. The workshop discusses the mindsets and stabilizing factors of the different economic classes, and establishes mechanisms for overcoming the hurdles of poverty. In this workshop, poverty is defined as the lack of resources (or being under-resourced).  According to Payne, there are eleven essential resources for success in school and in life.

After discussing economic class differences and resources, the workshop offers concrete strategies for student success professionals to implement. While A Framework for Understanding Poverty focuses on creating sustainable success for all students, the impacts are greatest for the under-resourced students. 

What began as a guide for educators to better understand their students is now a multifaceted, multidisciplinary set of tools and resources that are applicable across society. The book expands the integration of relationships across all boundaries.

–Gayle C. Manchin, Past President, National Association of State Boards of Education

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