Nonprofit awards scholarships to single moms

Posted: Updated:
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver

PHOENIX -- There's hope for single moms hoping for higher education but struggling to make ends meet. A community-based nonprofit has a number of scholarships available.

Helping Hands for Single Moms just opened a new office near Seventh Street and McDowell Road in central Phoenix. The program is designed to help keep struggling mothers on track. One Valley mother says she doesn't know where she'd be without this assistance.

Arielle Kramer has been a single mother since her now 4-year-old daughter, Jaellyn, was born. She recalled the violent life she once lived.

"(He was) verbally abusive, physically abusive -- it just wasn't healthy," Kramer said of Jaellyn's father. "And I think after having my daughter, I realized that it wasn't healthy and I was stronger than that."

Kramer was on her own and already enrolled in Grand Canyon University, but the money soon ran out.

She learned of a scholarship program through Helping Hands for Single Moms. It turns out Executive Director Joanne Grady would soon change Kramer's life.

"One of the big characteristics that we look for in the women who are funded through our program is responsibility and direction and a goal-centered approach to their education," Grady said.

Kramer was not only granted the scholarship, but also the support she needed to make it to where she is today. She is just months away from attaining her master's degree in business and leadership.

Helping Hands for Single Moms grants scholarships to nearly 100 Valley women a year. Requirements for eligibility include having at least one child under the age of 11 living with you and college enrollment with a minimum GPA of 2.8. Being a working mother is preferable.

Kramer says meeting the criteria might be a challenge, but it will certainly pay off in the long run.

"If you are able to show people that you are dedicated and driven, I think the more people are willing to step up and give you that hand that you're not asking for," Kramer said.

Helping Hands for Single Moms is a nonprofit 501c3 organization, and is made possible by generous donations of time and money.