Sandy Tersch, a self-acknowledged former addict, draws laughs from the audience and her fellow graduates Jill Zimmer, left, and Pamela Dale while recounting her first credit card at age 60 and thinking,“How neat is this,” until discovering it carried 24 percent interest and taking scissors to the plastic.

The three women called themselves “Victory Group” and are the first graduating class of the Willmar area Salvation Army’s “Getting Ahead Program,” the ceremony held Thursday at The Oaks at Eagle Creek.

In February, the three women started the 16-session program, which is designed to make individuals want to make changes in their lives and work their way out of unstable situations or poverty while building for the future.

The program receives support from Willmar Area Community Foundation and the Thomas Lyle Williams Trust.