Giving Motivated Moms a Hand Up

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Family Scholar House helps parents forge paths to self-sufficiency for themselves and their children.

03.09.17
All of us have needed some assistance at various points in life. For example, learning how to catch a baseball when we were children, or getting a loan from mom and dad when a part-time job wasn’t quite enough to cover the cost of our first car.
 
At Louisville’s Family Scholar House, single parents have the opportunity to get the help they need to complete their college educations, and receive residential housing as well as quality daycare and an enriching after-school program for their young children. Every day, Family Scholar House lives out its mission “to end the cycle of poverty and transform our community by empowering families and youth to succeed in education and achieve life-long self-sufficiency.”
 
Farm Credit Mid-America, a sponsor of Family Scholar House, recently awarded two parent scholars, Raven Brown and Christine Pusey, with scholarships to help them complete their college degrees. Christine recently earned her associate degree, and Raven plans to finish hers over the summer. Both are on track to complete their bachelor’s degrees within the next two-and-a-half years.
 
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Raven's Story
“I knew that education was the only way for me to voice my opinions and have them be heard,” says Raven, a student at the University of Louisville. “I love how diverse the campus is. I love learning new things. I’m taking five classes this semester, and all of them tie together. When I’m writing a paper for one class, I think of things from my other classes to include, too.”
 
Raven’s goal is to earn her bachelor’s degree in business marketing and then pursue an MBA in entrepreneurship. She credits a middle school teacher with instilling in her not just a love of mathematics, but also confidence.
 
“My math teacher, Miss Carr, changed my life by giving me a love for math — a subject I hated and felt I couldn’t do well in,” says Raven. “She spent time with me and encouraged me. Because of that attention, I was able to believe in myself. She helped me understand that math isn’t always easy, but you can solve through it.
 
“It’s like life — it isn’t always easy, but you have to think of it like a math problem. You start with a problem, you work through it and you find a solution.”
 
Raven finds herself acting as a role model for her daughter, who is 7 years old. “My daughter likes to put her backpack beside mine. She says, ‘Mommy, you go to college and I go to school. You have a binder and I have a binder.’ So she’s found similarities. She also tells me, ‘Mommy, I’m going to college.’ That lets me know that she’s watching me and appreciates what I’m doing.”
 
Christine’s Story 
Prior to coming to Family Scholar House, Christine, her 7-year-old daughter and 5-year-old son were living in a homeless shelter. “I knew I needed to make a change, so I decided to sign up for school,” says Christine. “I knew about Family Scholar House, so I took the necessary steps to get into the program. I realized I needed an education to make life better for me and my children.” Christine also appreciates the safe environment that Family Scholar House provides. 
 
“I never pictured myself in this spot — getting an associate degree and working toward a bachelor’s,” says Christine, who has transferred from a community college to Spaulding University in Louisville. “College has been a great experience. I crave knowledge, and I love to hear different points of view.”
 

“I knew that education was the only way for me to voice my opinions and have them be heard.”

Raven Brown
Christine is pursuing a degree in business communications. Like Raven, she is acutely aware that her children are looking to her to teach them their own life lessons.
 
“My children see me furthering my education, and I try to instill in them that education is important,” says Christine. “My daughter wants to be a doctor when she grows up, and I have high hopes that she’ll fulfill that dream. I believe both of my children know that mommy is trying her best.”
 
Supporting the Louisville Community
Farm Credit Mid-America has more than 1,150 employees working in communities across Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee, providing rural residents and farmers with the financial services they need to succeed. An important part of this team is the more than 250 Farm Credit employees who are based in the Louisville office. 
 
“While we don’t provide agricultural financial services in Louisville, our employees live and work here, and care deeply about this community,” says Jill Marchant, senior vice president and general counsel, Farm Credit Mid-America. “We want to support programs that make our community better, and Family Scholar House is one of them. 
 
“By supporting a program that has helped so many people break the cycle of poverty through education, we make Louisville a better community for all of us.”
 

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