SGTC Hosts Workshop with Renowned Poverty Expert

February 20, 2020
Dr. Donna Beegle educates the audience on how to “Break the Cycle of Poverty” during a recent workshop on the SGTC Americus campus.
Dr. Donna Beegle educates the audience on how to “Break the Cycle of Poverty” during a recent workshop on the SGTC Americus campus.

South Georgia Technical College (SGTC) recently held a professional development workshop for educators, community leaders, and students entitled “Break the Cycle of Poverty”.  The workshop was conducted by Dr. Donna M. Beegle, an expert on poverty and strategies to combat it. The event was presented free to the community and paid for through a federal grant obtained by South Georgia Technical College.

In her presentation, Dr. Beegle relayed her own story of growing up as a product of generational poverty. She was born into a migrant family and married at 15. At 26, she earned her GED and within ten years she received her doctorate in Educational leadership. She now dedicates her life to helping others break the cycle of poverty.

Generational poverty like that experienced by Dr. Beegle is far more common in America than most people realize. Illiteracy, poor health, and other issues that are byproducts of generational poverty only make the difficulties of socio-economic advancement more challenging.

There are other types of poverty affecting many more people in America. Among them are situational poverty (such as after the loss of a job or when faced with medical bills) and rural poverty in which people may not have access to resources (such as medical and educational) found in more populated areas.

Poverty is often associated with unemployment, but many who work full time jobs don’t make enough money to pay for vital services – a circumstance Dr. Beegle refers to as working-class poverty.

Dr. Beegle stresses that people who are not experiencing poverty have a vital role to play in helping break the cycle. She encourages people to get informed about the kinds and causes of poverty and to work to form partnerships in the community to help connect people in poverty with resources that can assist them.

She also emphasizes the importance of not passing judgment on those struggling to overcome poverty.

“Fight the poverty,” she says, “not the people who live in it.”

South Georgia Technical College is proud to help break the cycle of poverty by offering affordable education and skills training to help students get to work and earn a living as quickly as possible. SGTC provides textbooks at no charge to all students, and various financial aid programs are also available to help cover the cost of school. Learn more about all the degree, diploma, and technical certificate of credit programs SGTC offers at