Helping Hands for Single Moms

Arizona’s first health navigation and transportation system for the unhoused and underserved

Helping Hands for Single Moms (HHSM) helps low-income single moms attain a college education so they can create financial independence and a positive family legacy. A long-time supporter of HHSM, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona most recently provided funding that enabled HHSM to award 10 scholarships of $2,000 to nursing students at Phoenix College for the 2021 spring and fall semesters.

The ability to pay for college is essential. Sustaining family life while focusing on school is equally important. To further support these scholarship recipients, HHSM also provided wraparound support, including no-cost auto repair, AAA towing memberships, laptops, dental care for the moms, family outings, holiday gifts for their kids, single mom community meetings, financial management training, and NCLEX preparation for graduating nursing students.

With scholarships and support from HHSM, these women are empowered to do much more than complete college—they have an opportunity to break the cycle of poverty. The average annual starting salary for HHSM graduates is over $61,000, a dramatic increase from the average $9,700 income reported on initial scholarship applications.

Each college graduate contributes an average of $600,000 to the Arizona economy over their lifetime. This means that the 10 HHSM grant recipients could collectively contribute $6 million. As their children will likely also go on to earn postsecondary educations, the impact of HHSM scholarships for families and communities in our state is exponential.

I knew I had to get a college education to get my family out of poverty, but I didn’t know how. You saw greatness in me when I didn’t see it in myself. I leave the program as a strong, independent, educated woman who will work to inspire others in my community.

– Karina Diaz, Helping Hands for Single Moms grant recipient

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