FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA) — For 35 years, the Single Parent Scholarship Fund of Northwest Arkansas has been helping families become financially stable and independent.
The success of the non-profit is really the success of the entire community.
“We didn’t have a place to live. I had a newborn baby, and my son who was 10. I didn’t have any money to feed my kids,” says Bernadette Holt, a scholarship recipient.
When Holt moved her family to Arkansas, she found herself at a low point.
“The very first day I went in for welfare, which I thought was going to be a quick in and out — was me leaving that office with a number to the community college, and a brochure for Single Parent Scholarship Fund. I applied for it that same day.”
Little did she know, her life would change after being granted an opportunity from the Single Parent Scholarship Fund of Northwest Arkansas.
“They really do care, and they didn’t look at me and pity me. They looked at me and saw an equal, and that’s still how I feel now. It’s brought me to a place to where I don’t remember that person so many years ago,” Holt said.
The non-profit is paving the way for hope for thousands of single parents across our area, but it isn’t just monetary support.
“Depending on their needs, of course we provide the scholarship dollars to provide for their education, the actual financial support. Also the support they need with their kids, family, activities, back to school supplies,” says Tyler B. Clark, Executive Director.
It also provides mental and emotional help, career readiness, interview skills, and resume building. These are key skills needed to compliment an education.
“It’s a sense of relief. It gives them hope, and they inspire hope back into us as well, because our youngest recipient is 19 .Our oldest recipient is 62,” Clark said.
Hope for a better future is exactly what Holt is a shining example of.
Not only is she a graduate of Northwest Arkansas Community College,”That’s where I expected to stop, but I got a full ride scholarship from the University of Arkansas through my experience with the college. Now, I’m at the university and I’m majoring in accounting,” Holt said.
Her possibilities are now endless.
“I don’t know what’s going to come after my bachelors degree, I’m just so excited. It’s going to be good!”
Scholarship recipients and supporters of the Single Parent Scholarship Fund of Northwest Arkansas will be honored at the 17th Annual Spark of Hope.
Good day NWA’s Jaclyn House will be hosting the event on Thursday, June 20 at the Fayetteville Town Center.
For tickets, and to find out how you can get involved, click HERE.