National and state statistics show that there are a significant number of single parent families living at or below the poverty level in Jasper and Newton Counties. The majority are headed by individuals with only a high school education. With limited education, single parents have a difficult time finding professional jobs, and without good jobs they can't adequately care for their families. Therefore many become dependent on government assistance. One of the best weapons to combat poverty is through education.
The Aspire Scholarship Program was created in 2010 and provides incentive scholarships to qualified, low-income, single parents who are pursuing a professional degree at a college, university, or technical school. The goal is to help them attain an education, graduate, and obtain well-paid, skilled employment, thus breaking the cycle of poverty and creating a brighter economic future for their family.
By assisting low-income single parents in achieving their education, the Aspire Scholarship Program works to:
1) decrease the number of single-parent households that rely on state or federal assistance;
2) increase the number of qualified applicants for technical, medical, professional and other positions requiring post-secondary training; and
3) impact future generations by breaking the cycle of poverty and creating a brighter future.