“I couldn’t have afforded to pay for childcare, rent a house, and pay for school.”
-Student mom in CARE program
When women have an open pathway to economic opportunity, security and prosperity we all benefit. From sustaining a thriving economy to investments in the well-being of our community, the contributions of women are critical.
While many women are well on their path to economic success, they still face significant barriers along the way. For single moms, these obstacles can be especially difficult.
Like many women, single moms enroll in community or technical college to get ahead and create a more stable future for their families. Unfortunately, single moms are experiencing some of the biggest hurdles in securing the future they envision.
In an effort to support single moms in overcoming these challenges, we have implemented Thrive: an education and economic opportunity initiative.
To cultivate a network of support for moms pursuing higher education, we collaborated with Seattle Central College (SCC). As a Thrive initiative grant partner, SCC is working with a cohort of student moms through its Child Care Assistance Program (CARE). The CARE program provides academic, financial and emotional support services to student parents.
For student moms in the CARE cohort, reliable child care is a critical driver of their academic success. And this is why our partnership is so important.
The Thrive initiative grant has enabled the CARE program to cover more than 60% of childcare costs for student parents. Beyond childcare costs, the CARE program bridges the gap between moms and other critical resources.
Student Parent Support Coordinator at SCC, Vanessa Unti, explains that, “the cohort experience offers student mothers a peace of mind, relieving some stress and lets parents know that there is a place to go to solve problems.”
For many of her student moms, Vanessa is the central person they lean on for resources and support. The cohort has the ability to fill in the roles that are needed for women to thrive in their educational journeys.
“Being a parent is already such a big job that dedicating all their time to education is not a luxury,” Vanessa said.
Vanessa explains that insufficient time and money to meet demanding family needs takes a toll on a student’s academic achievement. In her role, Vanessa facilitates dialogue with various community partners to uncover necessary and tangible resources for student moms.
A mother in the cohort mentions, “I couldn’t have afforded to pay for childcare, rent a house, and pay for school [without the CARE program].”
This past year, all mothers in the cohort graduated from their programs with a sense of accomplishment and preparedness to enter the workforce. Their academic success creates a ripple effect of achievement for not only their children, but of our community as a whole.
Thanks to your support, the CARE program at SCC can continue to provide a space for women to lean on each other, gather resources and thrive in the face of adversity.