GRADUATION YEAR FROM JP
HOPES FOR THE JP FELLOWSHIP
To give back to the community and to guide other mothers to push towards their goals.
WHAT SOCIAL ISSUE/S DO YOU WANT TO ADDRESS?
Poverty in Minority Communities
Angelina Kery is a graduate of Jeremiah Program’s Boston campus. A mother of two middle-school-aged children, she works as a legal assistant for a civil litigation law firm.
Describe your experience with Jeremiah Program.
I started the program in 2015 during the same time I started attending Endicott College. I received a BS in psychology and in May 2019 and graduated from JP in June 2019. The program helped me obtain academic scholarships, financial help from the Letters Foundation, and other different resources that I would have never known existed. I’ve definitely been grateful for that ever since.
JP life skills workshops helped me be aware of my fears, core hurts, and challenges, and flip them around to become more positive, take action, and pursue my goals. When we initially start the program, we take an empowerment course. I really took all that in. When I first started, I was three years into a divorce, so that was very helpful.
What is your vision for the alumni program?
It’s exciting to be the first group of fellows in for this program. I’m hoping to give what I’ve received at the Jeremiah Program and much more. I’m hoping to mentor new moms, be a support for mothers in the program, and continue being a support to the community. I want to gain the experience of working with and mentoring other moms. I would like to contribute whatever knowledge, skills, and experience I received and pass it along to others. We’ll be able to have the opportunity to take a leadership role, to make a change for the better.
What kinds of issues would you like to see the alumni network prioritize at this moment?
At this very moment, during the pandemic, I want to make sure all mothers and children are OK financially, help them with resources on childcare, or even volunteer while they are studying. Here in Boston, Massachusetts, a lot of the parents are struggling with the kids doing remote learning and working at the same time. So, I definitely would like to prioritize that and make sure that they are okay, provide many resources to help them with their studies, and even provide virtual programs for the kids to join.
What is the most important change our society could make to better support single mothers?
Single mothers go through a lot of people being very judgmental. People need to show empathy; not pity, but empathy. Single mothers are very resilient. We are very strong—they’re very strong. All they need is just support and proper resources to help them pursue their goal. I think the most important change that we need is just to be there, to be available, to be a support. It could be something as small as babysitting, just to volunteer, just to be present.
What else do you want people to know about Jeremiah Program?
I remember a few folks approached me and mentioned that I do not need to be in that program. They saw me as if I got it all together. The reality was that I did not. While in the program, I lost two jobs and experienced hardships in my life. I experienced a moment of depression. My coaches did not waste any time in helping my needs as well as my children’s needs. I received many resources that I was not aware that I qualified for. I think this is a great program that pushes you to pursue your goals, whether is your academic goal or your career goals. It feels great to be able to have a supportive group to guide you. It all starts with you, and then you will be able to influence your children. That’s the whole purpose—that it’s not just for mothers, it’s for the children as well because they go by our example.