Project: Fueling the Career
Focus Area: Access to Opportunity / Community College
This WFM-funded program at Northeast Mississippi Community College (NEMCC) is based on the “Securing a Better Future” research the WFM commissioned from IWPR in 2014 to understand the needs and obstacles of women community college students.
With the $50,000 two-year grant from the WFM, the program assists female students enrolled in NEMCC’s Career Pathway program with costs associated with child care, transportation and college debt.
In the first six months of the program, the number of women served by the program has already exceeded the goal for the first year.
Transportation assistance – usually in the form of gas cards and occasionally for car repairs – has been the most beneficial to participants. Many of the women served have indicated that without this assistance, they would not have been able to enroll in or continue the program.
In addition to help with transportation needs, the program also provides childcare assistance and funds for textbooks and tuition. Women in the program are also supported with job and career counseling via NEMCC Career Pathway program for students enrolled in the areas of Medical/Business Office Assistant, Industrial Maintenance, or Information Technology.
Millie’s success story is just one example of the early successes from the WFM grant and NEMCC’s “Fueling the Career” program:
Millie is a dedicated and hardworking student who works part time while she is enrolled in the Medical and Business Office Assisting path at NEMCC. She is single, lives alone, and also happens to be 56+ years old.
After getting by with starting her car each morning with a screwdriver under the hood, Millie was distraught when her car finally broke down in the school parking lot. She visited the program coordinator and said that she would not be able to continue with classes because she had no other means of transportation. And, in fact, Millie had been giving two other students rides to campus, so the other students were also at risk.
The grant-funded program provided funds to repair Millie’s car so she – and others who rely on her for transportation – could continue to attend class.
Millie is grateful for the help and is looking forward to completing the program this spring and re-entering the workforce as a full time worker with a better job.