University Development

Providing a new path for student mothers

By Mount Mary University

Posted on May 11, 2022

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Today there are over four million parents enrolled in colleges across the country. 70 percent of those student parents are mothers and of that group, 62 percent are single mothers. Attending college with children can present challenges to anyone, but can be especially difficult for those who have little to no support or are parenting on their own. 

Studies show that nearly one out of every four people living in a single mother household is living in poverty. But many times, when single mothers try to attend college to better their situation, they are faced with an abysmal lack of support which results in a much higher dropout rate than their non-parenting peers.

Mount Mary is working to change this! Single mothers who are hoping to earn their degree and create a better life for themselves and their children are finding new support on campus. One such resource is the newly opened Trinity Woods. Trinity Woods is an innovative living opportunity for single mother students and their children. The intergenerational facility contains 24 private apartments for single mothers as well as an on-site dining plan and five-star early childhood education center, all just steps away from campus. 

Having a safe, affordable place to live with their children removes a huge barrier for single mothers to attend college, but there are still many other hurdles such as child care costs, living expenses, medical bills and transportation costs to name a few. To address these needs, Mount Mary also created the Madonna Endowment Fund. This endowed fund will be available to all single mothers regardless of whether they are living on campus or not. 

The annual earnings from the Madonna Endowment Fund will assist single mothers with any financial needs they have in excess of the federal, state and institutional aid they can obtain. It may mean the difference between using the high-quality Trinity Woods child care or some other lower quality options. It may mean the difference in having books for a semester or a working car or being able to pay their tuition bill.  

Jamie, a Mount Mary student and single mother, lives at Trinity Woods with her young son. The Madonna Endowment Fund is available to help her with things such as child care expenses, diapers, school books or medical expenses for her or her child, allowing her the ability to stay in school and complete her degree. 

Jamie says, “I’m studying nursing. I’m hoping to work in a hospital in the OB department so I can help mothers just like myself. There are so many single mothers who just need an opportunity and the resources to succeed. Mount Mary was here for me when I needed resources to help me get my education, so I want to be able to help others and give back to the community.”

Mount Mary’s mission is to prepare young women to be successful and go out into the world with the skills needed to make a difference, not only in their lives and that of their families, but also in their communities. The Madonna Endowment Fund will help even more women fulfill their dreams of a college education and have an impact for generations to come. 

If you are interested in supporting the Madonna Endowment Fund you can make a gift at mtmary.edu/give or call Amy LaMacchia at (414) 930-3343.

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