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In Support of House Bill 1503

March 7, 2016
St. Ann's Center for Children, Youth & Families

On March 7th, 2016, the Maryland House Economic Matters Committee held a hearing to discuss House Bill 1503.

If passed, the legislation would exempt homeless youth - including many of the young women served in our supportive housing programs - from paying certain GED testing fees. 

This is our Letter of Support for Maryland House Bill 1503.


Dear Delegates,

On behalf of St. Ann’s Center for Children, Youth and Families, I am writing to express our support of House Bill 1503, an act concerning GED Testing Fees Exemption for Homeless Youth.

St. Ann’s Center is a nonprofit organization located in Hyattsville, Maryland, which provides housing and wrap-around support to homeless women and their children. Our Teen Mother and Baby Program is a recipient of funding from the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act.

A 2010 report from Child Trends found that one in three (34 percent) teen mothers earned neither a diploma or a GED by age 22, compared with only 6 percent of young women who had not had a teen birth. Without a diploma or GED, single mothers will face significant barriers to finding and maintaining a career that can support their young families.

House Bill 1503 would exempt many of our clients from certain GED testing fees. This exemption would increase the likelihood that our clients will pursue and achieve their GED, thus improving their earning potential and long-term financial security.

St. Ann’s Center for Children, Youth and Families greatly appreciates your ongoing leadership in the effort to remove barriers to success for homeless youth. On behalf of the many young mothers and their children who will benefit from House Bill 1503, we thank you.


Sister Mary Bader

Chief Executive Officer