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United Way to launch ‘Women Rise’ program to support single moms with child care scholarships

Updated: Apr. 29, 2021 at 3:30 PM EDT
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PETERSBURG, Va. (WWBT) - Single moms face some of the biggest challenges when it comes to furthering their education. One of them is the expense of child care. But United Way has a new plan to help some of those moms.

The juggling act to raise kids and make a living can be exhausting, not to mention the financial toll of child care.

In the Richmond Metro region, 12,000 single-mother families live in poverty.

“Which means that each day they struggle to meet their basic needs like putting food on the table, a home over their heads, ensuring that they have everything they need to succeed along their path to success,” said Audrey Trussell, Women Rise, vice president of community impact at United Way Petersburg.

It’s why the United Way in the region is looking for ways to support those families, and they’ve come up with a scholarship program called, Women Rise.

The program is designed to help single moms pursue higher education, landing a career that will provide a living wage to support their families.

“Child care is one of the most expensive expenses that a family faces. For single mothers, it makes it almost impossible to attend single education after work or those training programs because it’s over a thousand dollars a month,” said Trussell. “So for a family with a single mother and high poverty rate as well, child care can become almost a freeze on that pathway to success, on that steps to a reliable living-wage career.”

The program hopes to support 10 moms in its initial year with enough community support and grow from there. Organizers hope donors will come forward to help fund the scholarship program, and the United Way and its partners will provide the supports to the women who get it.

“It’s not only investing in that mother, it’s investing in the family,” said Trussel. “Which then, in turn, pushes back to the community and puts everyone on the path to success that’s further along than we worked for.”

The program will launch in just a few days. Right now, United Way needs community partners to help fund the scholarships.

You can learn more about the program HERE and make a donation to it HERE.

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