Graduation Day– A Time to Celebrate!

Graduation Day– A Time to Celebrate! Photo courtesy of Jesse Simmers

Graduation Day– A Time to Celebrate!
Photo courtesy of Jesse Simmers

For many of the Fund’s grantees, graduation is a special day. Whether those helped by an agency are finishing high school, learning English for the first time, or completing a work training program to become self-supporting, graduation is a time to celebrate. Families, agency staff, volunteers and many others come together to cheer clients on– not just on graduation day, but every day as community partners work together to make a difference for the women, girls, and families of Chester County.

One young woman graduated not once, not twice, but three times with the guidance and support of Mom’s House of Greater Philadelphia, a new Fund grantee in 2013. As a child, this young woman came from the toughest of circumstances. Her own mother had died of a drug overdose and so had one of her siblings. She vowed not to let drugs destroy her like they had done to others in her family. When she was about to have a baby in her senior year of high school, she faced yet another hurdle. Her father had just remarried, and her new stepmother made it very clear: the young woman was not welcome in their home with a new baby. Fortunately, she had a good friend whose family invited her to stay with them – provided she complete high school. Mom’s House then played a critical role in providing free childcare, while she pursued her goals. Not only did she complete high school, she graduated with an Associate’s Degree from Montgomery County Community College and followed this up with a Bachelor’s Degree in criminal justice from West Chester University. Why criminal justice? Having witnessed the struggles faced by those close to her, this courageous young woman was determined to not only support her own child, but to help other young people. Her goal is to work as a juvenile probation officer, guiding young offenders toward a better path. Her achievements were made possible by one of the most precious gifts a young mother can have — safe, reliable child care provided by trained staff and volunteers.

In addition to free child care, Mom’s House provides nutritious meals for the children, classes on first aid and parenting, diapers, and even help with emergencies while young Chester County women attend school full time. Many of their clients hold down jobs as well. “Child care is huge – not only from a financial standpoint, but from a stability standpoint,” says Wendy McKeon, Finance Director at Mom’s House. They are just one of the many amazing agencies working to ensure that women and girls thrive in our Chester County communities.

A big thank you goes to all of the Fund’s 2013 grantees for their incredible programs and innovative services! Do you have a graduation anecdote or other success story to share from a Fund grantee agency? We would love to hear about it. Get in touch with us at