This April, we are celebrating the graduations of six H.O.P.E. participants! These single parents have worked hard to complete their degrees, and now they are finally getting to live out their dream careers. Juggling school, work, and parenting, it is no small feat for these students to be receiving their cap and gowns today. We could not be more proud and excited for them!
As we honor our graduates, it’s important to take a step back and realize the gravity of their accomplishments and the impact they have.
According to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, many Black women—especially Black single mothers—are still affected by institutionalized racism and misogyny that exists in both the educational and working world. Despite being more likely to be breadwinners, Black women have to work 21.5 months to earn what a white man makes in 12. They also often have to get a bachelor’s degree to achieve an income that a white man receives with a high school diploma.
For single mothers, achieving a degree and attaining financial success can be even more difficult. First-time college students who become single mothers are twice as likely to drop out—and one out of three Black women are single mothers. Even those that complete their degree are often left burdened by student debt, as Black women have the highest average of student loan debt than any others.
At H.O.P.E. Inc., most of our participants are single Black mothers who are trying to conquer inequity to pursue their dreams and provide hope for their families. Our mission is to support these women for the powerful change-makers they are, giving them the resources needed to eliminate barriers to their success. Through providing funds for rent and childcare and offering services like lifestyle and financial coaching, we aspire to uplift these women to accomplish their goals.
We invite you to join with us in celebrating these recent grads, and we hope that you will come alongside us in helping single parents pursue their degrees! If you would like to become a participant, or know someone who would be a good fit, we encourage you to learn more about our program and how you can help!