From Poverty to Prosperity in Minnesota and Beyond

November 6, 2012 |

Jeremiah Program participant Tiffany Meeks and her family.

“You’re pregnant.”

“These two words changed my life forever,” says Rebecca, a Jeremiah Program graduate who recently shared her story at the Aspen ThinkXChange. Like all the young women served by Jeremiah, Rebecca was single, working in a low-paying job, struggling to stay in college—and about to be a mother. Many of the women in our program come from families that have been dependent upon public assistance for generations. Most have few life skills to help them build healthy relationships or raise healthy children.

In the words of another graduate, Tiffany Meeks, “Before I came to Jeremiah, I was unstable, irresponsible, homeless and full of heartache and disappointment. Jeremiah Program planted a seed of hope in me that I would be able to pursue my education and have a safe living environment for me and my daughter.”

I am happy to report that Rebecca and Tiffany both graduated from Jeremiah Program armed with college degrees, life skills to move confidently through this world, and, most of all, hope. And that hope is inherited: Years later, the children of these young women are top students, exceling in school and planning for college.

Their stories are the story of Jeremiah Program, a nationally recognized nonprofit using a proven, holistic approach to transform families from poverty to prosperity two generations at a time. Through safe and affordable housing, quality early childhood education, life skills training and support for career-track education, Jeremiah Program prepares determined single mothers to excel in the workforce, readies their children to succeed in school, and reduces generational dependence on public assistance.

Jeremiah Program currently has two sites—in Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota—that serve 300 women and children. As the first step in a national expansion, an Austin, Texas, site will open in 2013. Work to establish a campus is also underway in Fargo-Moorhead, North Dakota, and many more discussions are happening nationally.

Visit the Jeremiah Program website to read and hear the stories of our families and the successes of this two-generation approach. In the words of Rebecca, “It is inspiring to be around so many women who are striving to achieve the same goals.”

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