Jeremiah Program is committed to sharing the stories of the brave women and children who face and overcome the barriers to a path out of poverty. Today, we bring you the stories of two Jeremiah mothers and their children who, despite living through violence and homelessness, are now walking pathways of sustained success and agency in their own lives. We’ll share more inspiring stories in the months to come.
Austin, Texas, is home to Alyssa, a 30-year-old mother of two who found Jeremiah Program while she and her children were homeless after leaving a violent relationship. A stay-at-home mom at the time, Alyssa was determined to return to college and complete her education, but finding herself without housing created what felt like insurmountable barriers between her and her goals. Jeremiah Program, she says, provided the tools she needed to dismantle those barriers—for herself and for her son and daughter.
Meet Nailah, a 31-year-old mother of two living in Brooklyn, New York. Like many women who join Jeremiah Program, Nailah’s life took several unexpected turns that destabilized her family and made her dreams feel very far way. Here, she explains how the program supports her in accomplishing her goals, reclaiming her personal power, and visualizing a bright future for her children.
About a Mother’s Journey
The social and economic factors that perpetuate cycles of poverty may be complex, but the solution is not—at least in theory. Prevention lies at the beginning and the end of the educational pathway: The younger a child has access to quality early childhood education and the longer she can stay on the pathway, the more likely she is to avoid or overcome generational poverty. According to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, each level of education past high school results in a 32 percent reduction of the likelihood of a single mother living in poverty.
For many single mothers seeking to disrupt the cycle, however, the reality of attaining post-secondary education for themselves—and quality early childhood education for their children—is far from simple. Juggling classes, homework, childcare, employment, and running a household alone would be overwhelming to many of us; for women who may also be experiencing trauma, abuse, or chronic instability, these barriers can feel impenetrable.
Jeremiah Program helps single mothers and children mitigate these barriers by making available the resources they need to redefine and reframe what is possible.