July 8, 2009 --
Statistics show that higher education is one of the best weapons against poverty.
And now, single parents, wanting to improve their way of life, are getting help from a scholarship strictly designated for them.
"We attempt to assist single parents in Craighead County with getting an advanced degree or getting a college degree so that not only can they improve their life, but the lives of their children."
Barbara Doyle, the Chairman of the Craighead County Single Parent Scholarship Fund, says since 1991 they've awarded $81,465 to qualified recipients.
Although, the $500 scholarship is meant to help a parent get a higher education, Doyle says it can be used for other items.
"Pay for books, to provide food for your family, pay an electric bill or two as come due... so it's not intended to supply all of their needs for going to college, but it's an attempt to supplement and give just that little bit of extra money that many of them need just to make it through the semester."
Annette Garrett is one of the recipients. She's started going to ASU in 2005 after a talk with her two children.
"Mom why should we go to college, you never did."
Before college, Garrett says she was an Administrative Assistant dreaming of something more.
"Working in the office, I got a little burnt out on it, so I said I was going to do a few things different."
Now working a part-time job, she's studying political science as a pre-law student. She's hoping to become an attorney one day to give back to the community what was given to her.
She says many adults fear going back to school because of their age and the unknown.
"At first it was real scary because I didn't know how I was going to provide for my children."
Her daughter Gabrielle says now she wants to go to college and she's proud of her mother for facing her fears.
Barbara Doyle says a lot of scholarship money goes unclaimed each year because people don't know about it, or they simply don't apply.
And for the Single Parent Scholarship, you have to meet these requirements:
1.) Have to be a single parent
2.) You must also be a resident of Craighead County. However, there are single parent scholarships available for other counties in Arkansas
3.) You must apply for federal financial aid before applying for this scholarship
4.) Get an application and send it in
For more information about the Single Parent Scholarship Fund in Craighead County and other counties in Arkansas, Click Here.