Celebrating Jeremiah Program Volunteers

For National Volunteer Week, JP is spotlighting some of our amazing and most dedicated volunteers across our campuses.

At Jeremiah Program, we often say that economic mobility is a marathon, not a sprint. We have seen this play out over nearly 30 years of partnering with single mothers and their children, and we know that it takes a community for us to have real, lasting impact in our work. That’s why we are so incredibly grateful to hundreds of volunteers over the last two decades and more who have dedicated their time to cooking for families, helping out in our Child Development Centers, serving as career mentors for JP moms, and so many more. This National Volunteer Week — and always — we say a huge, heartfelt thank you for all you do. 

Now, we’d like to highlight several of our committed volunteers from our campuses around the country. 

St. Paul: Norma Jean Bond 

For eight years, JP St. Paul’s dedicated front desk volunteer, known as Ms. Norma Jean, has been present from 7:45 am to 2:30 pm every day. She is the welcoming face and friendly voice that greets visitors, families, and staff when they arrive on campus.   

“I volunteer at JP St. Paul because it’s the perfect fit for me. In fact, I can’t see myself being anywhere else,” Ms. Norma Jean shared. “I have JP teachers, staff, moms, and the children here, and they are all like family to me; they call me Grandma! I love every one of them. JP treats me like family, and I look forward to coming here every day.” 

Boston: Lillian Diaz  

Lillian not only serves as a member of JP Boston’s Community Board of Trustees, but also she has been volunteering with the campus since 2019. 

“I volunteer at JP for a plethora of reasons: I love giving back to my community, and I appreciate the work being done by JP, but mostly because I was that ‘young single mom’ before!” she told us. “I could only dream of help in the form of a JP coach. I know that if I had the Jeremiah Program way back then, the path to my career would have been smoother. I also fully believe that the success and data of the moms AND children will help change state and nation-wide policies in terms of free college, free child care, etc. I am invested in the success of not only the program but of each and every mom that we help along the way!” 

Fargo-Moorhead: Laura Oster-Aaland 

Laura has been volunteering with JP since 2021 and proudly serves as chair of JP Fargo-Moorhead’s Community Board of Trustees. 

“I love JP’s bold mission of ending generational poverty two generations at a time,” she said. “JP recognizes that single moms can succeed if the playing field is leveled. It’s a strengths-based approach that is filled with optimism and joy.” 

Baltimore: Derrick Chin 

Derrick is a member of JP Baltimore’s Community Board of Trustees and has been volunteering with JP since December 2023. Derrick is a huge believer in supporting communities, not just with financial backing but through direct service.  

“I volunteer with Jeremiah Program because I want to be a blessing and, in turn, be blessed.”

Austin: Ainsley Merritt 

Ainsley has been volunteering her time with JP Austin for one year while juggling her responsibilities as a biology/pre-med student at the University of Texas at Austin.  

“I treasure the Jeremiah Program,” she said, “because I get to support its extraordinary mission to combat the poverty of single mothers two generations at a time.” 

Rochester-Southeast MN: Kiwanis Sunrise Group 

We have been honored to have the dedication of the Kiwanis Sunrise Group, whose members have been volunteering with JP Rochester since 2023. 

“Jeremiah Program provides a valuable opportunity to directly contribute to the well-being and growth of these women and children,” a representative explained. “Seeing the positive impact Kiwanis Club can have on these families brings a deep sense of fulfillment and purpose, reinforcing our love for volunteering with Jeremiah Program.” 

To all JP volunteers, we simply could not do what we do without you. On behalf of our moms, kids, alumni, staff, and partners, thank you for being invaluable parts of the nation-wide JP community! 

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