TEXARKANA, Ark (KTAL/KMSS) – A non-profit group called dedicated to providing scholarships to single parents in Arkansas is holding a mother-daughter photo contest to raise money for their program.
Like many organizations and businesses, the Arkansas Single Parent Scholarship Fund took a big hit due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Fund development manager Wendy Stotts says one in four families is a single-parent household in Arkansas. The mission is to serve parents who are enrolled in school or a trade program.
“In most cases, single-parent students qualify for federal funding based on their level of income. But there is a gap between what that will cover and what they need to keep going to school and finish their degree,” Stotts said.
Now, the program is looking for new ways to raise money for parents in the community through a photo contest. Anyone can submit a mother-daughter photo for a donation. The money will go towards the scholarship fund.
“It’s a life-changing amount of money that would – might seem minimal but makes such as difference in these student’s lives. And allows them to continue to pursue their goals.”
The group is currently helping 32 parents in the Texarkana area. Sharonda Smith is a single mother of three and was a waitress for 28 years until she lost her job due to COVID-19.
Smith says she found programs like this to pay for her tuition, books, food, and other necessities when she decided to go back to school.
“Going back to school is a good thing. I mean don’t let your children or nothing hinder you from that because it’s very important.”
Stotts says the goal is to break generational cycles and provide educational opportunities for single parents.
“The opportunities it provides for them and for their children, it just changes the trajectory of their lives and their children’s lives,” said Stotts.
The organization says the winner of the contest will be determined by the number of votes received. Each vote is $1. The winning duo will be awarded a prize package worth $250.
Anyone can enter to win. You don’t have to be an Arkansas or Texas resident. The deadline to submit a photo is May 2, 2021. For contest rules, to enter and to vote, go to www.gogophotocontest.com/ASPSF.