Postsecondary education and employment pathways are core components of the two-generation (2Gen) approach. This commitment to educational success and economic security is of the utmost importance to single mothers pursuing a postsecondary degree or workforce credential to create a better future for themselves and their children.

These topics are explored in Roadtrip Nation’s (RTN) documentary film, A Single Mom’s StoryFueled by ECMC Foundation (ECMCF), the film follows three single mothers on their journeys to achieving their educational dreams and finding fulfilling and family-sustaining careers. Ascend is joining RTN and ECMCF to celebrate the release of the film by participating in “Together We Thrive,” a weeklong, digital event series for single mothers and those who support them, including educators, organizations, and policymakers.

To kickoff the week, Ascend hosted a panel discussion and Q&A titled, “Single Moms Reach New Heights” on Monday, November 16 at 3 pm ET. It featured five single mothers – four Parent Advisors from Ascend’s Postsecondary Success for Parents (PSP) Initiative and one roadtripper from the documentary – to dive deeper into the challenges, barriers, and motivating factors single mothers experience while pursuing their postsecondary credentials. Our hope is for viewers to gain a better understanding of how single mothers are making their dreams a reality, and show single moms everywhere what is possible with a postsecondary education.


  • David Croom, assistant director for postsecondary achievement and innovation, Ascend at the Aspen Institute
  • Amber Angel, program coordinator, Los Angeles Valley College Family Resource Center and Ascend PSP Parent Advisor
  • Lynnette Coney, housing monitor, The Salvation Army of Sarasota County and Ascend PSP Parent Advisor
  • Maliaq Kairaiuak, Roadtripper and student at University of New Mexico
  • Michaela Martin, law student, University of La Verne and Ascend PSP Parent Advisor
  • Waukecha Wilkerson, learning program content consultant, Cell-Ed and Ascend PSP Parent Advisor

Watch A Single Mom’s Story here.