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Shawano program provides educational opportunity to single parents

Northeast Wisconsin Technical College

Backers of the Northeast Wisconsin Technical College Educational Foundation believe education can play an important role in stopping the cycle of poverty. They have made it their mission to provide financial support to NWTC students and the college through scholarships and other financial assistance. By doing so, the NWTC Foundation promotes the value of a technical education within the community.

In 2015, 49% of 997 students surveyed said they were the primary caretaker for children.

With the help of a $3,750 grant from the Shawano Area Community Foundation’s Shawano Area Fund, the NWTC Educational Foundation can provide single-parent households access to higher education opportunities that lead to high-wage jobs in high-demand occupations. The grant dollars will help single parent students stay in school and graduate. This will help decrease the likelihood that the children of single parents live in poverty.

“One of the root causes of the high poverty rate is the lack of high school and secondary education among this population. The whole community benefits when we increase the educational attainment of our citizens, which in turn increases the likelihood of employment,” said Alicia Van Straten, Office and Scholarship Coordinator for the Northeast Wisconsin Technical College Educational Foundation.

The single-parent program is so impactful in the community because it is helping single-parent households move from poverty to being self-sufficient.

“Our students tell us that they have lack of adequate childcare and finances, time management problems, low self esteem, decreased confidence in returning to school, and little or no moral support from family and friends,” said Van Straten.

By providing financial support, the program has removed a large roadblock for single-parent students. This past year the program gave scholarships to five single parents to help them achieve their educational goals.

Students that were a part of the program are truly appreciative and have expressed their gratitude to the Foundation.

Here are a few excerpts:

“First, I want to take this time to tell you how appreciative I am regarding the single mothers scholarship I have received from you. I am so thankful because it is not easy working, going to school and taking care of two children. This scholarship helps me out tremendously because I could not afford to pay for these classes out of pocket. So, thank you.”

“I will do everything I can to ensure that your reward gifted to me is used to the best of my ability in getting what I need for school. I appreciate the chance I was given to go for this award, and even more for people like you. I cannot thank you enough.”

“I am grateful for foundations such as yours that helps struggling students such as myself, and I hope one day I will be able to participate in my community the same way.”

For more information about the Northeast Wisconsin Technical College Educational Fund, please visit the Northeast Wisconsin Technical College’s website.

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