Editorial as it appeared in Port Arthur News
An investment in knowledge pays the best interest. – Benjamin Franklin
Jackie deserves a chance. She is a mother of five and grandmother of four. She’s been taking care of others for years. She started at the age of twelve when her mother died. Now she is the legal guardian of a grandson. Against the odds, she managed to get halfway through a college degree from Lamar University. She had to stop attending when she didn’t have the funds for tuition and books. She says, “I’m determined to go to school now more than ever because I am stronger in mind, body, and spirit.”
I have great admiration and respect for Jackie. I returned to college three times as an “older” student. (They considered anyone over twenty-three an older student.) And each time I was better equipped to contribute in my field. In Jackie’s case, she wants to complete her degree in sociology so that she can give to her community/our community. She is already looking into possible job opportunities. The degree is to a practical end—a position as a Social Worker. And the people of southeast Texas will benefit from her contribution.
Bridges of Hope Educational Support Program (an initiative of The Community Coalition) will make it possible for Jackie to complete her degree. We have established a program that “carries” a single mother for two years as long as she meets certain requirements. Participants will receive: Financial Assistance, Life Coaching, Budget Guidance, Health and Wellness workshops, and Life Skills training. Other programs like this have proven successful and we look forward to the long-term “interests” our investment will pay.
I raised three children as a single mother before I remarried. I have experienced the potholes, pests, and perils of being the single head-of-household. As an educator in regular and special education for twenty years I know a great deal about child development and how to handle kids. I am the founder of SMORE for Women, a nonprofit whose goal is Single Moms, Overjoyed, Rejuvenated, and Empowered. I’m also a Certified Professional Coach and my stories have been published in several Christian books and magazines. My book, Living Learning Loving is available on Amazonand Barnes and Nobleonline.