Partner Spotlight: One Family
MEFA's relationship with One Family has evolved to be one that we cherish deeply. One Family is a non-profit organization founded in 1999 that helps low-income, single parents who are at-risk or formerly homeless to earn their Associate's or Bachelor's degree. One Family's mission is to end family homelessness in Massachusetts. This mission grows out of a core belief that no parent or child should be without a place to call home. The organization believes that in order to help end homelessness, parents must be armed with success, and in order to obtain this they need to go to college.
One Family is unique in the way they assist their families. They focus on 4 key "building blocks" that they believe lead to lifelong achievement: College Success, Financial Success, Career Success and Leadership Success. While monetary funds alone may not be enough to help someone move out of poverty, the organization empowers parents by providing the tools needed to be successful on their own.
At one time, One Family gave its students a plaque or paperweight at graduation as a reward for completing school. But then One Family decided that would be more effective to give students a long-term benefit, and that long-term benefit turned out to be the services of MEFA. As a result, MEFA began working with and educating families about the importance of saving for college. Today, One Family awards "graduation scholarships" that graduates can use to open college savings accounts for their own children.
Each spring, One Family gathers the graduating class for a lunch or dinner event. MEFA is invited to join these accomplished families in conversations around goal-setting and pathways to success for themselves and their children. In addition to these conversations, MEFA also assists families with setting up the concrete objective of saving for college and guides them through the application and paperwork.
This step of creating leadership success on behalf of their children is the core connection between One Family and MEFA. MEFA's mission and One Family's mission are interwoven in the "building blocks" that lead to lifelong achievement. As we continue to collaborate with One Family, MEFA is appreciative of the opportunity to continue to weave the thread of hope into the lives of the families in the One Family program.