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Empowering single mothers through education

Lauren Ward: From homeless to Brown University

Empowering single mothers through education
A powerful story of one community college in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and how its sense of community and support is transforming lives for single mothers.
Director: Lara Everly
Producer: Emily Lallouz
Cinematographer: Senda Bonnet
Editor: Sean Stender
Executive Producer: Melissa Panzer, Joan Lynch, Art Bilger

Lauren Ward’s incredible journey from homelessness to Brown University is a testament to the power of determination. As a single mother pursuing a psychology degree at Santa Fe Community College in New Mexico, she overcame daunting obstacles to secure a brighter future for herself and her daughter.

At a school in which a significant portion of students face financial hardships, with nearly 30% earning annual incomes of $25,000 or less, Lauren’s pursuit of success resonates with many who are dealing with similar financial challenges.

Santa Fe Community College played a crucial role in Lauren’s transformation by providing support, and community resources. During Lauren’s time at Santa Fe Community College initiatives like the “campus cupboard” were launched to address the basic needs of student-parents, like food and baby supplies.

Recognizing the importance of supporting student-parents, the college has strived to become a more family-friendly campus, offering dedicated spaces for parents to study while keeping their children close. Lauren’s journey is just one example of the potential that exists within the student-parent population.

Her dream extended beyond community college, as she successfully applied to Brown University’s Resumed Undergraduate Education program. Despite her challenging past, she received admission to Brown, marking the next chapter of her remarkable journey.

Lauren firmly believes that if she could conquer homelessness and adversity, she can overcome anything that lies ahead. Her story serves as a testament to the boundless power of resilience and determination, as detailed in this original video.

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