FARGO, N.D. (October 21, 2021)—Jeremiah Program (JP), a national nonprofit with one of the most successful strategies for disrupting generational poverty among single mothers and their children, today announced that Lonnie Pederson, Executive Director of its Fargo-Moorhead campus will retire in January 2022. Pederson has served in this role since August of 2018.
“Since joining Jeremiah Program, Lonnie has performed with grace, persistence, optimism, creativity, collaboration and heart throughmany significant milestones and to expand the reach of Jeremiah Program Fargo-Moorhead,” said Chastity Lord, President & CEO, Jeremiah Program. “Lonnie has developed a strong, committed group of donors and Community Board of Trustees members, secured housing vouchers through her vision and determination, worked collaboratively with the CBT to establish the Jeremiah Program Fargo-Moorhead Scheel Barry Endowment, mentored campus leaders in their own growth and expanded the JP tent significantly.”
Jeremiah Program opened a Fargo-Moorhead campus in January 2018 to serve this community, providing quality early childhood education, childcare, a safe and affordable place to live, and empowerment and leadership training for single mothers attending college. In Fargo-Moorhead, more than half (51%) of all single moms with children under age five live in poverty, compared to just 8% of married couples with children the same age. Their unsafe, unstable housing and a lack of affordable, quality childcare creates barriers to pursuing a college education that leads to career-track jobs. Jeremiah Program sits at the nexus of these issues and supporting these women.
Pederson followed Jeremiah Program when it was a “seed of an idea” in the community, and helped grow the campus into what it is today. In 2021, JP Fargo-Moorhead served 200 moms and kids; and recently welcomed 30 new families into its fall cohort. The program’s efforts are especially essential today as the intersecting challenges of limited access to economic opportunity coupled with COVID-19 and the resurfacing of the racial reckoning continue across the country and community.
“Our work at Jeremiah Program, to disrupt the cycle of poverty, two generations at a time, is more important than ever and it is work that contributes to the well-being of an entire community. This community ‘walked the talk’ through their generosity and support and continue to nurture the mission and do the work that needs to be done,” said Pederson. “It’s been my privilege to be part of designing solutions, along with a team of supporters, who center the voices of JP families and in doing so contribute to the collective endeavors. I am committed to a strong finish and preparing the way for my successor and JP’s bright future.”
Pederson will continue to lead JP Fargo-Moorhead through the end of January 2022 to allow time for a robust search and candidate cultivation process for the next leader to build upon her legacy.
About Jeremiah Program:
Jeremiah Program is a nonprofit organization that offers one of the nation’s most successful strategies to help families transform from poverty to prosperity two generations at a time. Using a combination of quality early childhood education, childcare, a safe and affordable place to live, and empowerment and life skills training, the program has impacted the lives of more than 4,000+ single mothers and their children since it was founded 20 years ago. The organization currently serves over 600 single mothers and their young children at seven campuses across the country in Austin, TX; Brooklyn, NY; Boston, MA; Fargo, ND-Moorhead, MN; Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN; and Rochester, MN.