For Mother’s Day: A 2-Generation Story

Two-generation programs provide opportunities for and meet the needs of parents and their children, together. With opportunity more readily available, multiple generations of Mississippi women can create paths to success.

Nikendra Dotson and her 8-year old daughter have both benefitted from a two-generation program provided by the Children’s Defense Fund and funded by a Women’s Foundation grant.

Early in her school years, Nikendra faced challenges finding the right placement in school, with neither special education classes nor traditional classes being quite the right fit. She did not graduate from high school, but received a Certificate of Completion from Gentry High School in Indianola, Mississippi, and later completed her GED.

Nikendra was put on a further path to success as she was then encouraged by an instructor at Mississippi Delta Community College (MDCC) to enroll in the the Mississippi Intergraded Basic Education and Skills Training (MI-BEST) Program and the MDCC Career and Technical College.

The mentor in the program provided Nikendra with information about services that were available to her and how to enroll and access the services.  Throughout her time in the program, the mentor also provided assistance and support for any issues or concerns about her classes and family needs. The mentor and MI-BEST program also provided financial literacy education and life skills that Nikendra will take forward to benefit herself and her daughter beyond graduation.

With support of these grant-funded programs, Nikednra began taking classes to obtain her degree in Healthcare Data Technology. She received her degree from MDCC in December, 2016, and participated in their graduation ceremony in May 2017.

At the same time, Nikendra’s daughter, who is now a second grade student, has received early childhood services through the SPARK program run by the Children’s Defense Fund and the Indianola Promise School collaborative.