Honor Mom with a Hand Up to Others

Mother’s Day gift as inspiring as her

On Mother’s Day, we think about what moms mean in our lives.

Strength. Delight. Comfort. Unconditional love.

Trying to show mom how much she means is nearly impossible.

What better way to touch your mom’s heart than to help low-income single moms accomplish their dream of better lives for themselves and their children.

Honor your mom, or the memory of mom, or a great woman in your life, with a gift to Jeremiah Program. We will send your mom a note letting her know you honored her in this way. You can even include a personal message.

This is US

How do staff internalize Jeremiah values? A recent team-building exercise focused on uncovering the beliefs we have about each word and a discussion about how each value makes us believe, feel, think and do. It was an opportunity to think about the values and also to get insight into team members.

Innovation is a value Danyelle Antone from Boston is particularly excited about.

“Innovation is what attracted me to Boston in the first place,” she said. “It’s a new model and I appreciated Emilia (Executive Director) giving me the autonomy to create community and find new ways to look at how we do program.”

The family-focused value struck a chord with Danyelle as well.

“It was a nice reminder that our entire work culture is family-focused, not just for the families we serve. It includes families of staff and paying attention to work-life balance.”

Gaining insight into team members is another benefit. Valerie Eubert from Austin enjoyed the opportunity to gain understanding.

“Everyone has such diverse perspectives,” she said. “And it was interesting to see how individual roles within a team or the overall organization also impacted what teammates believe, feel, think and do.”

Valerie’s most important takeaway?

“There was a lot of energy in the exercise with contributions from the entire team. It was inspiring to have everyone fully engaged in fleshing out the organizational values.”

Here are just a sample of some insights from other team members:

 

Empowered

I feel
. . .my inner warrior rising. …trusted. …like I have possibilities.

And I do
I provide others with opportunities and motivation. I hold people accountable and responsible for outcomes. I have confidence in the collective.

Collaborative

I believe
. . . that preconceived notions can influence the collaboration; they need to be put to the side. …that I have inherent biases. …that I have to seek to understand the people that I’m working with. …that the needs of the group may outweigh the needs of the individuals within the group.

And I do
I ask for participation and opinions. I clearly communicate roles. I invite feedback. I communicate the why. I listen. I ask smart questions. I thank people for their contributions.

 

Family Focused

I think
. . . about uniqueness and differences. …that everyone brings their own experience. …that because families are these unique microcosms, . . .it’s important to understand how families influence individuals.

And I do
I treat my team with the respect that I do with my family. I allow myself and colleagues to put their families first. I plan family events. I ask people about their family.

 

Inclusive

I believe
…that people can be their authentic selves. …that everyone deserves a spot at the table and all have the right to contribute. …that it’s the right thing to do and not because it’s the expected thing to do.

And I do
I share feedback and ask for feedback. I celebrate the diversity that is involved, whether a meeting or a process. I recognize people for bringing their full, authentic selves. I facilitate the sharing of ideas. I’m willing to feel uncomfortable. I consider whether what I’m doing is inclusive or preventing someone from being able to fully participate.

 

Innovative

I think
about efficiency in my job; making it easier. …about what are others doing.…about best practices; what I can learn from best practices. …about how to use the best of what’s been done, to create something better.

And I do
I implement a new empowerment curriculum and system. I share our model with others so they can impact more families. I try to create ways for others to find joy in giving.

 

April Volunteer Spotlights

Meet Luna

Our April Volunteer Spotlight is Luna Chandna. Luna started volunteering with Jeremiah Program in 2017 just after our campus was built. She initially volunteered by helping our Volunteer Coordinator develop her outreach plan for the year. Since then, Luna has gone through our empowerment class and has dedicated her time each week to shadow our amazing empowerment and life skills facilitators. She is on the path to completing all the training required to become a facilitator and we are all so thrilled. Let’s hear more from Luna: 

How did you hear about Jeremiah Program?

I was having lunch with a friend and describing to her what I would like to do next. She had recently heard about Jeremiah and suggested I check it out because what I was describing sounded a lot like what she had just learned.

How long have you been volunteering at Jeremiah Program? 

It has been about a year and a half now.

What do you love most about volunteering at Jeremiah Program? 

I love seeing the women grow, whether it be as students or parents or just humans.

Please share a favorite memory/funny story while volunteering. 

I loved seeing all the affirmations that Starbucks put up at Valentine’s Day. That same week, in life skills, we did an exercise that required everyone to write down positive traits about each other. I took all those traits on sticky notes, cut them into hearts, and made a collage/poster as a tangible reminder for everyone. I was touched and so happy when one of the Moms took it home at the end of the month!

Please share a fun fact about you.

A fun fact about me is that I love to physically challenge myself. I am a marathoner, a half-marathoner, and a tri-athlete; I have snorkeled in the Great Barrier Reef; I hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon & back in a day.

Thanks again Luna! It’s volunteers like you who make our campus so vibrant and welcoming to residents. We truly appreciate your positivity and nurturing to help the families at Jeremiah grow.

Are you interested in volunteering with Jeremiah Program? Check out the opportunities and fill out an application. Thanks for considering lending a hand.

 

 

Postsecondary Education Critical to Economic Success for Single Moms

The contemporary workforce looks dramatically different than in generations past. Most Americans can no longer work their way into a middle-income, blue-collar career with only a high school diploma. In fact, researchers at the Center on Education and the Workforce at Georgetown University argue that the post-Great Recession economy has divided the United States along a fault line demarcated by a college education. Postsecondary education presents a path to a living wage career for single mothers. With each additional level of education after high school, single mothers experience an approximately 32% average decline in the likelihood of living in poverty (Institute for Women’s Policy Research, 2018).

Jeremiah Program Elevates Single Mom’s College Expectations

The Jeremiah mindset, culture, and program offerings can have a lasting impact on social change. The next information session about program application is April 25, although interested candidates are always welcome to apply.

“We coordinate five critical resources to ensure that our mothers complete a career-track college education and their children are set up for academic and lifelong success,” said Shivonne McKay, Jeremiah New York executive director.  “We partner with diverse single women living below the poverty line and their young children to advance social and economic mobility for both generations.”

According to a Wilder Research study of the Jeremiah Program New York, the projected Return on Investment to “society overall,” which includes the benefits accrued by taxpayers and participants is as high as $14 per dollar invested.

In addition to the economic benefits for the mothers and their children, it is expected that there would be economic gains accrued by the government. For instance, the increased earnings from the educational achievement of mothers and children will generate additional tax revenues.

Looking for Mom’s Interested in Changing Their Lives

Last year 39 women and children participated in the program. Goals for New York are to expand to serve even more families in the next five years. Information sessions introduce the concept to potential participants including the admissions process and program expectations.

The first step in the program is empowerment training which is a prerequisite for admissions. Empowerment is based on the idea that the more a person regulates her state of mind, the more powerful she feels—and the more equipped she is to succeed in life.

Read a recent story by the BKReader offering an overview of Jeremiah Program New York.

You Created Change

2018 was a year of tremendous opportunity for Jeremiah Program as we celebrated our 20th anniversary. Thanks to our donors, community partners, and volunteers, Jeremiah families thrived and were empowered to create change two generations at a time.
With your generous support in 2018:
  • Nineteen children graduated from the Child Development Center prepared for kindergarten and beyond.
  • Jeremiah partnered with 108 families including 140 children.
  • Surveyed graduate moms left Jeremiah earning an average of $46,000 a year. 
  • Fifty-five percent of Jeremiah moms achieved a GPA of 3.0 or higher.
“I am in awe and proud of the life I have created for my son and me. I am filled with joy to be living the life I now get to live. I have broken the cycle in so many ways, and my son is a living example of that. He is growing up feeling loved, valued, safe and empowered. Jeremiah helped me see that and I taught him that myself.” – Brittany, Jeremiah Program Graduate 

Thank you volunteers

It is national volunteer appreciation week! Dedicated and enthusiastic volunteers are a critically important part of our vibrant campus communities. Together we help single moms and their children learn, grow and succeed.

In 2018, Jeremiah Program had over 1,000 volunteers dedicate over 13,000 hours to our community. Their commitment of time and talent has made a measurable difference in the success of our families.

Jeremiah’s Minneapolis-St. Paul campuses recently earned a prestigious “Service Enterprise” certification from Points of Light for leveraging volunteers and their skills to successfully deliver on our mission. We could not provide our services without our amazing network of volunteers and we can’t thank them enough.

This week we celebrate all of you!