Jeremiah – 2GenCville Advances to Second Phase

olivabranchcvilleAfter two years of planning, Jeremiah Program is advancing to the second phase of development in Charlottesville, VA, through a partnership with 2GenCville. With a generous seed grant from an anonymous donor, Jeremiah has hired Olivia Branch to lead development and community outreach, as well as head a feasibility study, for the Charlottesville initiative.

Jeremiah Program offers one of the nation’s most successful strategies for transforming families from poverty to prosperity two generations at a time. The organization’s proven, holistic approach begins with establishing a supportive community for determined single mothers to pursue a career-track college education. Through a combination of quality early childhood education, a safe and affordable place to live, and empowerment and life skills training, families are stabilized and able to find a path out of poverty. A recent independent return on investment study shows that every $1 invested in Jeremiah families can save up to $4 in social costs.

More than 1,100 single mothers with 3,000 children under the age of 18 are living in poverty in the Charlottesville area. One-fourth of Charlottesville’s families do not earn enough to be self-sufficient, and the vast majority of those families consist of women and their children. These fragile families face significant barriers to succeeding without safe housing and quality early childhood education. As a result, they often are excluded from the area’s economic opportunities.

“We have been working with 2GenCville leaders in Charlottesville for a couple years and have been increasingly impressed by their perseverance and commitment to changing the lives of low-income single moms in their area,” said Jeremiah President & CEO Gloria Perez. “We look forward to working with 2Gen Cville on this next phase of development.”

Over the next few months, Branch, in collaboration with an advisory committee, will explore possibilities for collaboration with existing Charlottesville nonprofits, from early childhood education partners to nonprofit housing organizations to programs that could refer young women.

The committee (member list below) of community leaders with expertise in higher education, early childhood education, business, employment and social services is assisting with the development of the program.

“Olivia has been a trusted anchor in Charlottesville’s nonprofit community for more than 25 years,” says Rydell Payne, Executive Director of local community development organization Charlottesville Abundant Life Ministries (CALM) and an advisor to 2Gen Cville. “She is respected in the business and faith communities, and, as a native, knows how to effectively connect people to community needs. With these strengths, Olivia is perfectly positioned to help establish a firm foundation for Jeremiah Program.”

Branch has worked in the Charlottesville community for more than 25 years in media relations and fundraising. She worked with NPR affiliates WMRA and Virginia Public Radio, WVTF, and was Associate Director of Annual Giving at the University of Virginia School of Engineering. Branch has served on numerous broads, commissions and is a member of the Lockn’ Music Festival PR team.

About Jeremiah Program

Jeremiah Program prepares determined single mothers to excel in the workforce, readies their children to succeed in school, and reduces generational dependence on public assistance. The organization’s flagship campuses are located in Minneapolis and St. Paul, MN; housing for four families opened in Austin, TX, in fall 2013, and ground has been broken on an expanded campus that will welcome 35 additional families in late 2016. In addition, leaders in Fargo, ND–Moorhead, MN, are planning to break ground in spring 2016 on a campus to serve 20 families, and pilot programs are underway with Endicott College in Boston. More information is available at www.jeremiahprogra.wpengine.com.

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*Jeremiah Program Charlottesville Advisory Committee

Trustees Approve Final Campus Floor Plan

floorplanJeremiah Program’s Fargo-Moorhead trustees have approved the final floor plan for the 20-apartment campus to be built at 801 Page Drive in Fargo.

Jeremiah will break ground by early 2017, with young families moving in by end of 2017. The new campus will offer 20 affordable apartments, an on-site Child Development Center, ample community space for empowerment and life skills classes, and spaces for residents and volunteers to gather, share a meal, study and socialize.

Registration for Fall Empowerment Now Open

fargoempower2Registration is now open for Jeremiah Program Fargo-Moorhead’s fall 2016 empowerment course. Two tracks are offered:

  • Track 1 is for single mothers and begins Thursday, September 8, and continues weekly (13 weeks total) through Thursday, December 8 (no session Thursday, November 24). More information here.
  • Track 2 is for community partners, especially those who work with or are likely to refer single mothers or collaborate on services or volunteer with Jeremiah Program. That session runs September 8–November 17. More information here.

This past spring, six determined mothers graduated from our spring empowerment class (pictured above). Two of the graduates recently shared their thoughts:

Vanessa F (640x800)Vanessa, the mother of three-year-old Jonah, said she signed up for empowerment because, “I want to figure out my life and not live paycheck to paycheck.” She was introduced to Jeremiah at an event hosted by North Dakota State University. “I love empowerment,” she says. “I’m learning to control my emotions and rely on myself.” Being part of a community of other single moms has been important for her. “It was a relief to be with other moms in the same situation. I can just be myself. We can relate to each other.”

Decontee D (640x800)Decontee came to the U.S. in 2004. She gave birth to a daughter just two weeks after graduating from high school. After an on-and-off relationship with her daughter’s father, she had Olivia, now (2 years). Decontee has completed her associate’s degree and wants to pursue a bachelor’s degree in social work. “I want to get my degree and keep moving forward and make better choices for myself and my children,” she says. “Empowerment has taught me that you can’t control other people and I’m learning to focus on controlling myself.” She, too, cites the importance of sisterhood with the women in her class. “We share a lot and have had similar experiences.”

Announcing the Epic Battle 2016 Winners

boss-hoggettes-and-hoggsTeams of 20 “battled” through outrageous games in support of Jeremiah families in Austin on November 5. We couldn’t have had more fun while raising money for the determined young women and children we serve.

Overall Team Spirit: Rattlesnakes

Pre-Game Hype: JP Fun Raisers

Best Sportsmanship: Raging Roadkill

Should’ve Stayed at the Bar: Boss Hoggettes and Hoggs

raging-roadkillEager Beaver (most likely to start training for EB 2017 tomorrow): Ken Armond

First Place for the games: Tie between Bullfrogs (led by Austin Community Trustees Chair Glenda Holmstrom and Trustee Melissa Gray) and Rattlesnakes (led by Trustee Laura Bennett)

Deadass Last: Jolly Ranchers

Loudest Outfit: Jailin Wu (JP Fun Raisers)

shannon-tracey-laura-and-debbieTop Fundraising: Stinging Scorpions (led by Trustee Tracey Sharples)

Check out our Facebook page or Instagram to see more pictures from this wonderful event!