MTTC News Close Window $SPONGE
MTTC Helps Provide Computers for Single Parents at Jefferson Community College Through Community Foundation of Louisville Grant Funds

MTTC Helps Provide Computers for Single Parents at Jefferson Community College Through Community Foundation of Louisville Grant Funds

This article appears in the 1/21/03 issue of the Louisville Defender newspaper.

Emma Smith’s face lights up when she talks about the students in the Single Parent Support Group (SPSG) at Jefferson Community College downtown.

“Take Natasha, for instance,” Smith explains. “She’s working at a pharmacy full-time, and she’s enrolled in our pre-pharmacy program here. Not only is she working and going to school full-time, but she’s got a little one at home and she’s maintaining a 3.9 grade point average. She’s taking 15 hours this semester. She started out with 18, but the poor thing was just running herself ragged trying to do everything. So I talked her into dropping one class just so she could survive.”

Natasha is typical of many single parents trying to make ends meet and raising children while trying to get ahead by getting a college degree.

Emma Smith, Sponsor of the JCC Single Parent Support Group, explains that only eleven of the sixteen student members will receive computers in a random drawing.

“Most of the students in our group work full-time and attend school full-time,” said Smith. “Then they have their children at home, and between trying to take care of work, and family and things like grocery shopping and laundry and everything else they have to do, it just doesn’t leave them much time to do school work.”

“And if they have to use a computer to do their school work, or go to the library, it’s that much more difficult for them. Sure, we have computers that students can use at JCC. But they have to come to the campus and go to the computer labs or the library in order to use them. So the ones without computers at home have to find someone to watch their children or bring their children with them just to get work done. We wanted to try to make it easier for them.”

Anne Elmore, Distinguished Educator and member of the Jefferson County Board of Education, chats with a member of the JCC Single Parent Support Group and her daughter as they wait for names to be drawn.  

On December 6th, 2002, MTTC was able to provide 11 complete Pentium computers to students in the JCC Single Parent Support Group, thanks to grant funds from anonymous donors through the Community Foundation of Louisville

Smith had heard about MTTC’s PC Essentials Program through various sources, including a recent article in the Louisville Courier-Journal about a basic computer training program for public housing residents where residents got to keep the computers at the end of training.

Smith discussed the MTTC PC Essentials program with one of the group’s advisors, Mrs. Anne Elmore, a Distinguished Educator and member of the Jefferson County School Board. Mrs. Elmore contacted Dennis Riggs, Executive Director of the Community Foundation of Louisville, for possible assistance for the single parent students, and Riggs was able to come through.

Riggs contacted donors of charitable funds in The Community Foundation of Louisville whose primary grantmaking interest is helping students get a college education. Three anonymous donors chose to recommend grants from the funds they have established in the Foundation to help purchase the computers. The Foundation also contributed two used computers to the project.

“By providing these students with computers, we are actually helping two generations of students” said Mrs. Elmore.

The grant funds were only sufficient to allow MTTC and the Community Foundation of Louisville to provide 11 computers to the 16 active members of the SPSG, “But that’s not a bad thing, because every parent and every student in this group is involved in the good thing of getting an education in a challenging environment,” said Smith. “Eventually, we hope to be able to provide a computer to each student in the support group, to really give them a leg up in being able to complete their studies.”

Students in the group were able to enter their names in a drawing. JCC President, Dr. Tony Newberry, drew eleven names from a box.

Serena Marshall, one of the SPSG students whose name was not drawn for a computer, said “We’re all just really happy for the ones who got the computers. It gives us hope and encouragement. That’s what the support group is all about.”

Tony Newberry, President of JCC, reads one of eleven names in the drawing for Single Parent Support Group students to receive a computer system provided by MTTC.

If you’d like more information on how you might contribute funds or a computer, please contact MTTC at [email protected] or by phone at (502) 367-2186

Peggy Meyer, Project Director for MTTC, works with one of the recipients of computers provided by MTTC and funded by the Community Foundation of Louisville