Transformative New Program for Single Parents Pursuing College Degrees to Ignite Economic Mobility
(October 25, 2022, Pittsburgh, PA) The Pittsburgh Scholar House is launching the Wayfinders Program, an innovative approach to connecting highly motivated single parents to transformative post-secondary educational opportunities in the region. Set to run from January to June 2023, the Wayfinders Program will create an inclusive community of scholastic support for parents seeking a better quality of life for themselves and their children. Participants who successfully enroll into a degree program at the end of the six-month engagement period will be supported with potential scholarship opportunities, academic coaching, professional mentorship, transportation and childcare access, and other supports designed to cultivate social capital and foster economic mobility through the successful completion of their degree program. The application opens October 25, 2022, and is accepting applicants through Friday, November 18, 2022. A virtual information session will be hosted on Thursday, October 27th from 6:30 PM to 7:30 PM.
The Pittsburgh Scholar House is a local nonprofit dedicated to building a scholastic community of single parent college students interested in earning two-year and four-year degrees to disrupt the poverty cycle, and create a cycle of generational prosperity, while fostering high quality early learning outcomes for their children. This two-generational (2GEN) approach is designed to create empowered partnerships with highly motivated, single parents facing economic insecurity as they seek increased levels of post-secondary educational attainment, early learning access, and social capital cultivation to ignite economic mobility and garner a better quality of life for themselves and their children.
“The Pittsburgh Scholar House is committed to increasing access to high-quality, affordable post-secondary education opportunities for single parent families in the region. The Wayfinders program will provide structural support and motivation to help current and prospective college students with parenting responsibilities achieve their highest aspirations while caring for their children,” said Dr. Diamonte Walker, CEO of Pittsburgh Scholar House. “We view this as a mutually accountable partnership where families are set firmly in the driver seat to reshape their economic destinies from one generation to the next.”
The organization is working with partners across the higher education, early learning, community and economic development, banking, healthcare, human services, corporate industry, and philanthropic sectors to replicate the outcomes of the Pittsburgh Scholar House’s parent organization, Family Scholar House in Louisville, Kentucky. This innovative approach creates a well-coordinated community of practice to achieve collective impact with the aspirations and needs of parenting students at the forefront. These collaborative efforts are designed to empower families as they seek to build the social, economic, and educational pedigree necessary to achieve greater levels of economic security.
The Pittsburgh Scholar House is seeking to recruit 20 families into its first Wayfinders cohort slated to begin in January 2023. The curriculum will focus on providing parenting scholars with economic empowerment, two-generational family engagement, early learning outcomes for their children, and standards of academic excellence as they pursue a degree. Cohort participants are provided with the guidance and support needed to enroll in a two or four-year degree program, finish a degree program in which they are currently enrolled, or receive specialized workforce training for in-demand job skills. The program is available to participants at no cost.
“It is critically important that we improve access to higher education and remove barriers to degree completion for parenting students,” stated Karina Chavez, Executive Director of the Pittsburgh Council on Higher Education and Pittsburgh Scholar House Board Member. Chavez added, “PCHE is proud to partner with the Pittsburgh Scholar House to create holistic economic and social outcomes for families striving for a brighter tomorrow”.
The Pittsburgh Scholar House is supported by all 11 colleges and universities that make up the Pittsburgh Council on Higher Education (PCHE) and funding partners at The Heinz Endowments, Henry L. Hillman Foundation, and PNC Foundation.
About Pittsburgh Scholar House:
The Pittsburgh Scholar House is a newly launched non-profit affiliate of the Family Scholar House, dedicated to using two-generation strategies to disrupt the cycle of poverty by enabling post-secondary educational attainment and comprehensive support services to improve quality of life for income eligible single parents and their children. More information is available at www.pghscholarhouse.org
About Family Scholar House:
Family Scholar House’s mission is to end the cycle of poverty and transform our community by empowering families and youth to succeed in education and achieve life-long self-sufficiency. Based in Louisville, KY, Family Scholar House is currently serving 29,354 households across 22 states. The non-profit was one of only five mature program recipients of the national 2020 Rise Prize recognizing programs with significant success in supporting student parents. To learn more about Family Scholar House, please visit www.familyscholarhouse.org.
About Pittsburgh Council on Higher Education (PCHE):
Founded 1966 by the original ten university and college presidents in the City of Pittsburgh, PCHE brings the member institutions together share resources, insights, and information among participating member institutions; Engage in joint or cooperative activities and projects; Offer a common voice on matters that affect all member institutions.