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Education and Employment Center: Helping Young Mothers Achieve their Dreams

On an early September afternoon, a teen mom settles down at a computer workstation in St. Ann’s Media Center to attend her first online college class; a formerly homeless young woman meets with her employment counselor to discuss her dream of becoming a nurse; a Faith House resident picks up her 2-year-old from St. Ann’s Child Care Center after her first day of work as a medical assistant.

These young women arrived at St. Ann’s facing challenges so enormous that they saw little hope for their family’s future. But this September, each began a promising new chapter her family’s life be-cause of the support and guidance she has received in St. Ann’s Education and Employment Center.

The Center was created to help young, single-female head of households move from poverty to economic stability. The Employment Opportunity Program, started in 2012 with a generous grant from the Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer Foundation, is a key component. As Lisa Jenkins, St. Ann’s Em-ployment Counselor, explains, “Ultimately, our goal is to assist the client in building the foundation for a successful career and lifelong independence.”

New in St. Ann’s Media Center is a state-of-the-art learning tool: a SMARTBoard. Made possible by a generous gift from Kevin and Nancy Clark, the SMARTBoard enables our teachers to construct dynamic and interactive lessons, thereby increasing student engagement and improving educational outcomes. Additionally, familiarizing our students and clients with innovations like the SMARTBoard builds their confidence and competence with technologies they will encounter in the workplace.

Through our Education and Employment Center, St. Ann’s continues to address the needs of vulnerable young mothers, helping them build a better life for themselves and their children. We are profoundly grateful for the generous support of all our donors who make this life-affirming work possible.