Uplifting Parents Program
The Catholic Social Services 'Uplifting Parents Program’ was created about 5 years ago for single parents who are lower income.
RAPID CITY, S.D. — A sizable donation from the John T. Vucurevich Foundation is helping the UP Program assist more families. The program is supporting a need in the community.
The Uplifting Parents Program is giving single parents a hand up. It’s coupling funding and mentoring to equal a successful outcome, as well as building relationships with participants.
Becky Cornell-Marsich, Uplifting Parents Program Director, says, “We really consider the mentoring to be the heart of the program. What we find is often times our participants will say that the mentoring is what really got them through and that’s the part that they really enjoyed the most in the program.”
Tyresha Riquelmy-Yankton, Uplifting Parents Program Participant, says, “I think one of the best things is the mentoring that they do – just having someone to talk to actually makes a really big difference as a single parent.”
Tyresha is a year into the program and less than a year away from graduating with her teaching degree and says it is comforting to have have a support system in place to help her though the challenges of finishing her degree.
The main criteria to get into the program is the student must be within two years of graduating with a higher education degree and a single parent.
Participants get a monthly stipend to help with whatever needs they may have. The mentoring and case management also makes a big impact. The mentors can help participants get connected with community resources to help them along in their journey. The end goal is to finish their degree and earn a better income.
Becky says, “The livable wage part is a big thing that we look at – we want to know that they’re going to be able to provide for the kids when they’re done with school.”
And once that education is under their belt, that’s when the hard work pays off.
“Probably the best part of the program is seeing people get to their goals and when they do it, that’s the best feeling ever and so that’s a lot of what we’re seeing is. Just keep going, if you just keep going you are going to get there and we will be there with you every step of the way,” says Becky.
Tyresha admits the process is not easy, but that the dedication will be worth it in the end – securing a better future for her family.
Tyresha says, “I think being in his program has really helped me, just get a better layout my goals and where I should be. I know once we get through this this little blip, right in our timeline, that once I do get teaching and once I do get there – I’ll be much more established for all of us.”
Call Becky to get more information on eligibility in the Up Program at 605-348-6086.