Hi Game Changers!
I am SO excited to report to you the incredible success you have made in the lives of 10 single parents who graduates from college last year, and the 15 more graduating this year! The impact of this initiative on the equity landscape in the United States has been remarkable, and we have some data to back it up.
Our survey, taken in March 2023 and submitted to our graduates, resulted in some fantastic additional data. Firstly, 91% of our graduates are now working in their career field, while the remaining 9% are working at higher income levels in a different career field. This success rate is unprecedented, and we are proud YOU have played a role in making it happen.
What is even more exciting is that 50% of our graduates are the first members of their family to attend college and graduate. This achievement has broken down barriers for their families and has paved the way for future generations to pursue their dreams.
Furthermore, when the single parent participants that responded to our survey started our program, 47% of them were making under $20,000 per year. However, now, 47% of our graduates have yearly incomes between $20,000 and $40,000, and 3% have incomes between $40,000 and $50,000, which is a 75% increase. This increase in income has allowed our graduates to provide better for themselves and their families, leading to increased financial stability.
But that's not all! When our program started, 50% of our responding graduates did not have a savings account. Now, 78% of them have established savings accounts with an average balance total of $3,253. This financial literacy and planning are critical to our graduates' continued success and growth.
Lastly, the credit scores of our graduates have shown a significant improvement since completing our program. When the single parent participants that responded to our survey started our program, 50% of them had a very poor credit rating of 573. However, since graduating, their scores average to be 621 or greater, which is a 47-point average credit score change. This improvement in credit scores has led to better access to loans and credit, further increasing our graduates' financial stability.
In conclusion, YOU have made a significant impact on the lives of our graduates and their families. YOU have not only provided them with an education, but you have also the tools and resources necessary to achieve financial stability and success. We are so grateful for YOU and hope that you will continue to invest in our project so that we can continue to make a difference in the lives of single parents and their families. Thank you for EVERYTHING!
When we called on you to "Empower Single Parents", giving them the ability to show strength to their children despite the struggles they were facing is exactly what we meant.
One of our single parents, Susan, left her career several years ago in order to raise her twin children. When her marriage fell apart, she found herself without viable options to support herself and her kids. The pandemic revealed a need for medical professionals, so she decided to enroll in Nursing School. But meeting the demands of her academics coupled with a full-time job (and being a mom) wasn't possible without help. That's when you stepped in!
Now, Susan is enrolled in Chamberlain University and is well on her way to earning a Bachelor's degree and becoming a Nurse. She will always know how difficult this time was for her, but all her children will remember is the incredible strength she demonstrated for them every day. And, that's because of your help.
Please click the link below to hear how you impacted Susan's life. We've also included a video of her two children sharing their experiences as their mom navigates this journey with the support of H.O.P.E., Inc.
Thank you for your strength!
H.O.P.E., Inc. Founder, CEO, & President
When H.O.P.E., Inc. graduate, Shakara, first walked into a resource office as an undergraduate at Georgia State, little did he know he was about to have his life changed because of people like you!
Shakara was seeking support as a single father pursuing his bachelor's degree when he was introduced to H.O.P.E., Inc. Our program allowed him to better balance his studies, his job, and his commitment to his family and helped him reach the first milestone on his journey to becoming an attorney.
With his graduation from Chamberlain College complete, he has now started the second half of his mission and begins law school this week!
We thank you for continuing to invest in single parents, like Shakara, and look forward to sharing even more success stories with you.
When you met Ruby, she had two semesters of college remaining and needed our help to cover tuition and fees. As an Atlanta-area single mother and HOPE participant, for years, she tried to graduate with a degree in Information Technology, but obstacles kept preventing her from realizing her dream. Then, with only two remaining semesters until graduation, Ruby had been derailed yet again due to reaching her student aid lifetime maximum.
As an African-American single mother, Ruby was dangerously close to becoming a statistic. While nearly 2 in every 5 Black women in college are single mothers, only 8% who begin college will earn their degrees within 6 years of starting it. But, you stepped in to ensure Ruby could persist!
Through your support and her determination, she recently earned a Certificate in IT Cyber Security from the Women In Technology Cyber Security Program and just began a new job increasing her income by 50% to $65,000/year! Now, Ruby no longer needs to be a part of the HOPE program and is finishing her degree part-time while working full-time in her new career.
This is HOPE's mission -- to empower and equip single parents to become self-sufficient through education. It is exciting to see our mission come to fruition through the stories of our participants. We hope that you'll join us in celebrating this success and continue to help other single parents, like Ruby, on their journeys to a college degree.
Over the past 12 years, supporters like you have changed the trajectory of 267 lives by making it possible for single parents to earn a college degree. And, for the 16 single-parent participants currently enrolled in our program, your support means they will be able to pull themselves out of poverty and create the life they've always dreamed of for themselves and their children.
Many single parents do not attend college due to a lack of resources available to them. According to a Women Employed publication, “Single Mothers and College Success: Creating Paths Out of Poverty,” single parents face especially daunting challenges in their efforts to obtain a degree. Compared to married parents, single parents are more likely to have low incomes and have greater challenges paying tuition and arranging childcare. Because of such hurdles, it typically takes between six to 15 years for single parents to complete a Bachelor's degree, compared to an average of six years for single students with no children. In fact, of the estimated 1.7 million single mothers striving to earn college degrees, only 8% will finish within six years due to the difficulties of balancing parenting with schoolwork and jobs.
However, through your donations, you have truly empowered and equipped the single parents in our program by eliminating several of the barriers that prevent them from succeeding. YTD, 100% of our single parents have graduated within six years. In fact, 48% are the first member of their family to attend college and graduate! In addition, 64% of our single parents were making under $20,000 when they started the program, but now 32% of our graduates have yearly incomes between $20k-$40k. Furthermore, 24% have incomes between $40k-$50k, and 32% have yearly incomes over $50,000, which is a 140% increase!
We invite you to continue on this journey with us into 2022 as we prepare for several of our participants to become Spring graduates.
Wishing you health and happiness in the New Year,
Kenita Smith, BBA, MBA, MA
H.O.P.E., Inc., Founder/CEO/President
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