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Young moms to get a degree with this nonprofit

Words by Smiley Team

Young moms aren’t always supported when they go to college – stats show only 8% of single mother students in Illinois complete an Associate degree within six years, compared to 60% of those without children. 

That’s why a Chicago nonprofit has teamed up with a local college to create a coaching programme. New Moms wanted to challenge the systemic barriers preventing many young moms from completing college degrees.

“We believe intentional investment in the postsecondary persistence and achievement of young moms will have lasting positive influences on families and communities,” said Gabrielle Caverl-McNeal, senior director of employment and ccademic coaching at New Moms.  Gabrielle said many young moms drop out of school, while others experience high poverty. Many of them simply need support to be able to go to College. 

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New Moms teamed up with ECMC Foundation, which is funding a significant portion of the pilot program, to create the coaching program. Together with the City Colleges of Chicago, New Moms is piloting the three-year program, with the goal of increasing degree attainment for young moms.

The results of this project will have important implications for the national conversation on how to support young moms pursuing degrees and will be evaluated by Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago, they say. The pilot will recruit 25 Chicagoland young moms pursuing a long-term academic certificate or Associate degree. 

Participants will work with coaches to select the accredited institution of whose schedules, course offerings, and credentialing align with their goals. Most have selected City Colleges of Chicago, a partner of New Moms. 

During the program, each participant will receive monthly support, including a $500 monthly stipend while enrolled in the program, individual and group coaching, as well as transportation and childcare support. Young moms will remain enrolled in the program for up to three years, or until they complete their degree, with additional follow-up support offered post-graduation.

Inspired to act?

DONATE: Support New Moms by donating to help their efforts reach more young women

GET INVOLVED: Join New Moms in partnering with young families to support economic mobility. 


Photo by javier trueba on Unsplash

This article aligns with the following UN SDGs

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