"It takes drive and determination," said Executive Director of the Single Parent Scholarship Fund of Northwest Arkansas, Jody Dilday. "I have a tremendous amount of respect for the single moms and dads because they are making very real sacrifices today so they will have a brighter future."
The Single Parent Scholarship Fund of Northwest Arkansas provides money for parents to help pay their bills and tuition while in school. This fall semester the group is helping 92 single moms and dads get back into the classroom.
With the help of the fund Liesl Kraft just finished her Associate's degree in nursing.
"Coming through a divorce and having no education, I would not have been able to find a job to support myself and my daughter the way that I would like to," she said. "Having finished my Associate's degree and going into my first job, I am confident that I will have the finances that I need to support myself.
Those closest to Liesl have seen her world change for the better - for both her and her young daughter.
"I was raised by a single mother who went back to nursing school, so when I observe what Liesl is doing, my heart is warmed and I know what a blessing that was for me growing up, and I see that for her and Ella," said Liesl's pastor, Paul Sagan.
The scholarship fund gives out both full-time and part-time scholarships to parents, but the group doesn't stop there, it organizes events and fun outings for the parents and children.
"It's a treat for them to get out and do things other families do, that they normally may not be able to afford," Dilday said.
Liesl hopes the help she has received will mean a much brighter future for her daughter, and teach her important life lessons.
"She likes to do her homework on the computer now, and she has several times said 'mom, I want to be a nurse, mom I want to go to school, mom, I want to do,' and to hear a 4 year old to say 'mom I want to,' is great," she said.
Great is one word that the 138 families the Single Parent Scholarship fund helped last year can now use to describe their outlook for the future - especially Liesl - who now hopes to move onto getting her Bachelor's degree.
For more information on the group, go to: http://www.spsfwc.org/