Integrating Pro Bono: Bringing regular legal access to Jeremiah Program moms

Cindy Anderson of Lindquist & Vennum, Rebecca Putzer, Ellen Krug of Call for Justice, Hawi Baisa, Martha Delaney of the Volunteer Lawyers Network, and Autumn Nelson of Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi

As part of national Pro Bono Week 2013 (October 20-26), the Minnesota State Bar Association sponsored a morning continuing legal education program, “Integrating Pro Bono,” featuring Jeremiah Program’s collaboration with Call for Justice, the law firm of Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi, the law firm of Lindquist & Vennum, and Volunteer Lawyers Network.  This unique collaboration brings regular legal access to Jeremiah Program moms on such issues as child custody, child support, wills, health care directives, expungements, and any other legal matter that are barriers to success.

Inside Track: A few words of advice for the graduates

Article by: Neal St. Anthony, Star Tribune

Attention, college graduates of 2012. Here’s a bit of (edited) advice that Inside Track has obtained from several local chief executives…


Full Article


“No matter the economic climate … the power of a higher education degree — coupled with a strong belief in yourself — creates limitless possibilities for you, for your career and for our country. Further, at times of economic stress, we need leaders, optimistic leaders, more than at any other time. Lead with optimism and believe in yourself and those around you.”

Richard Davis, U.S. Bancorp


“Be curious. Be open. You don’t need a road map for your life. Find a life’s work that you are passionate about and that asks you to bring your best stuff. Your reputation is your top asset.”

Mary Brainerd, HealthPartners



Jeremiah Program Featured on WDAY TV in Fargo

Free program focuses on personal
development for single mothers

By Kelsey Roseth
WDAY Fargo, ND

See original article and video

Single mothers are getting a chance at a better future. A few months ago, we told you about a project in the making, aimed to help young women achieve their goals. Now, mothers who are part of the Jeremiah Program are on a path to success.

For Brittany Wendt, the Jeremiah Program means a lot to her and her one year old son Madix. It’s making her dreams a reality.

BRITTANY WENDT – Jeremiah Program Participant: “I want to be a really good mom, and with being so young, and having a child, it’s very frustrating.”

20-year-old Brittany’s enrolled in a ten week long course, one hour, once a week, designed for personal development. It’s open to any young, single mother for free.

Wendt: “I’m in school for massage, and I really need the fire under my butt to keep going.”

Young mothers like Brittany are thrown into adulthood. Sometimes without the right tools. So the course covers healthy living, career growth, budgeting, and more.

HOPE ADAM – Jeremiah Program: “When the program is done, and they’ve learned about some of these topics, it will help them change and start growing, moving in new directions.”

And Brittany’s top priority? Parenting Skills. She says she could toughen up when it comes to discipline.

Wendt: “How to be strict, and not too strict, but put boundaries with my son.”

All the course requires is that women make a commitment. To the program, to change, and to their future. Article: Educate both parents and their children

By Courtney E. Martin

The Christian Science Monitor –

posted January 26, 2012 at 10:44 am EST

Read The Full Article


The Jeremiah Program, a nonprofit organization that receives a combination of foundation, corporate, and private funding, first started in Minneapolis in 1998 with a mission of eradicating poverty. After much deliberation, the program adopted a model to serve single mothers. They are given free housing. (Women pay 30 percent of their income for rent, which averages $135 per month). And they get life skills and job training while their children are given early education opportunities – all over a two- to three-year period.

The success is startling. Women apply and enter the program earning an average of $8.39 an hour and leave with career-track employment, earning an average livable wage of $15-16 an hour. Ninety percent of program graduates maintain consistent employment, and 55 percent go on to obtain a four-year degree. Ninety-five percent of alumnae mothers report that their children are performing at or above grade level. Jeremiah Program’s goal is to have a presence in 12 cities by 2020.

How expensive is it to get these kinds of results? Jeremiah Program’s cost per family is approximately $25,000 annually. That may sound like a lot, until one considers the alternatives. This same population – without a comprehensive, two-generation approach – is typically served piecemeal and at considerable cost to the public.

A poor, single mother and her child are often likely to utilize, for example, out-of-home placement (foster care, temporary guardianships) and chemical dependency treatment. They are also often likely to have encounters with the criminal justice system, require emergency room service, and need ongoing welfare support. In addition to being punitive and largely unsuccessful in breaking cycles of poverty, this kind of scatter shot government intervention is estimated to cost as much as $98,000 per family annually. That means that taxpayers save $6 for every one invested in Jeremiah families.”