Although many of our residents want to further their education, the financial hardship they would incur makes the possibility of school elusive. Most of our residents work, so taking time away from their jobs to participate in classes and schoolwork means a loss of critical income. Additionally, parents would have to pay for childcare while they continue their education. So, the dream of bettering their position continues to be deferred for most of our residents. However, what previously seemed unattainable, is now possible due to the compassion of two local supporters.
Long-time friends of Hope Solutions, Kyra Kennedy and Pat McGrath have always had a heart for their vulnerable neighbors and were growing increasingly concerned about people living along the Iron Horse Trail in their community. They felt compelled to do something to help folks improve their living conditions and reached out to Hope Solutions to brainstorm ideas. The key question they asked was how could they help inspire our residents to continue their education to strengthen their economic security?
Together, we created the Kennedy McGrath Education Award, a dedicated incentive fund designed to help offset the expenses of going to school. Any client wanting to take classes for their GED, college degree, or trade school is eligible to receive financial awards for hitting milestones along their educational journey. Upon graduation from a program, they will receive a larger award.
When asked what motivated them to create this opportunity, Kyra said “We are interested in creating better lives and opening possibilities by supporting education and learning.” Pat added “reaching goals with new learning.”
One young lady who recently completed her coursework received an educational award this week. She is excited to share that she is going to be the Master of Ceremonies at her graduation’s livestream. She is so thankful, happy, and proud of herself for completing her education. She intends to use the extra money, along with some savings, to purchase a car, which will make her life much easier.
The program was started earlier this year and our clients are very excited to have this opportunity. To date, we have already distributed 16 Kennedy McGrath awards!