A Chicago-based nonprofit has teamed up with a local college to ensure young mothers finish their education.
New Moms partnered with the City Colleges of Chicago to pilot a three-year program aimed at increasing “degree attainment for young moms in Chicagoland,” Jenna Hammond, director of development and communications for New Moms, told Fox News.
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Currently, only 8% of single mothers in Illinois complete an associate degree within six years, according to Hammond.
It’s a statistic the organization is hoping to change with the New Moms Academic Coaching Program.
The program, which is funded by the ECMC Foundation as well as the state of Illinois, will assist 25 moms. Each one will receive a monthly stipend of $500 in addition to family support services, including child care and individual coaching, while they earn their associate degree or any long-term certificates, Hammond said.
Graduating from a postsecondary program “is significant for our young moms,” according to Hammond.
“It creates more options for acquiring jobs that will help them achieve economic stability and allows them to plan for a future that is marked by greater economic mobility,” she added.
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Achieving this academic success will relieve some stress placed on young mothers, which can then “positively impact their long-term family well-being,” she added.
For four decades, the program has been working to support over 400 new mothers from the Chicago area pursue and achieve their goals.
New Moms cultivated various programs from housing and job training opportunities, which includes paid job training experience at its social enterprise candle company, Bright Endeavors, to family support services such as in-home parent coaching and doula assistance.
On top of that, all new moms are paired with coaches who help “construct the foundation of well-being by strengthening core life skills, incorporating early childhood development supports, building pathways to and preparation for education and employment,” Hammond said.
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All of their efforts are geared toward creating “a holistic pathway for our participants to really achieve long-term stability and well-being for themselves and their families.”