Social4Good Makes the Grade with Support for Student Parents
Too many of today’s college students struggle to meet their basic needs, and the young parent Scholars at Washington, DC-based Generation Hope are no exception. The statistics reveal the challenges student parents face: 1 in 5 undergraduate college students today is a parent, and yet they’re 10 times less likely to graduate. Fewer than 2% of teen mothers who have a baby before age 18 earn a college degree before age 30.
Generation Hope is changing these statistics one family and community at a time. They work with education and policy partners to drive systemic change and provide direct support to young parents in college as well as their children through holistic, two-generation programming.
Generation Hope’s Scholar Program focuses on providing wrap-around services for young parents and their children through college completion support and their early childhood program, Next Generation Academy. Parents enrolled in the Scholar Program receive a multitude of resources and services including tuition assistance, crisis assistance and emergency funding, mentoring, mental health and career support, training, social events and more.
The organization has changed the trajectory of many families in our area. Their Scholars graduate at a rate that is double that of low-income college students and almost eight times the rate of single mothers nationwide. Sixty-one percent of Generation Hope Scholars earn a degree within six years, and 89% of their Scholar graduates are employed full time and/or enrolled in a graduate studies program within six months of graduating
Social4Good (S4G) members and guests gathered on August 22 for a Sunshine, Sangria and Scholars Social to learn more about Generation Hope and show their support for young parent Scholars. Generation Hope’s Career & Alumni Services Manager, Sanah Jivani, framed the challenges teen parents face in completing college and outlined the program that Nicole Lynn Lewis, founder, created based on her own experience.
Carolyn “Cici” Felton, a Generation Hope Scholar Alumna and now Family Program Coordinator for the group provided further insight: “Professors don’t know what it took just to get through the door of the classroom for our Scholars. Childcare, transportation, and finances are a reality that others don’t take seriously until they’re directly impacted. Plus, the pressure to make a better path for their family while defying the odds is an unfortunate circumstance this invisible population of students is forced to endure. They deserve to be seen.”
She added, “Generation Hope provides a comprehensive support system with people who want to see our Scholars succeed, social and education events where kids are welcome, and resources like those provided by Social4Good to help Scholars focus on our studies.”
S4G members raised more than $5,400 in financial and in-kind donations for Generation Hope, including more than 50 Barbie dolls for the Scholars’ children. The gift will be used for Generation Hope’s October event which offers each Scholar the opportunity to pick out items they and their family need to succeed, from cleaning products to diapers and computers.
S4G is an all-volunteer, grassroots organization that brings together engaged women who want to meet new people and support the organizations that make our community strong. Each month, this column will highlight S4G’s monthly project to raise awareness on critical needs in our community and local nonprofits making a difference.
To learn more about S4G or to donate to support local nonprofits, visit https://www.social4good.community/