MOMs: From Education to Employment®

"Since entering the program, it has helped me remain in a positive position in my life to help me understand how to stay diverse, educated, open minded and accept the challenges towards success."

- Alicia O., 30-year old single mom with three girls ages 3, 7, and 11

WNY Women's Foundation's most recent large investment is the pilot program MOMs: From Education to Employment® Program participants are offered a variety of academic and career supports which are continually enhanced based on participant feedback as the program progresses. Working closely with program coaches, we have already seen movement towards the goal of family sustaining jobs for single mothers in the program.  

Click here to read the article about the MOMs: From Education to Employment program in our most recent newsletter.

Program Successes:

After 7 semesters, 276 mothers have enrolled in the program (259 students, 17  alumni). These mothers represent over 400 children who have also benefited from the program. Seventy-Five of these students have graduated!

The program has achieved the following outcomes after the 6 semester pilot program at NCCC:

  • 120 mothers have found new employment.
  • 82 mothers have found internships.
  • 62 scholarships have been awarded.
  • 100% of mothers who enrolled in Workforce Development Programs graduated.
  • On average, graduates of the program earned hourly wages 41% higher than their counterparts still enrolled in school.
  • Single mothers are reporting increased flexibility and accommodations from faculty.
  • Campus sensitivity for single mothers has made a palpable gain.


  • 52% of mothers are over 30 years old - 20% over 40.
  • 70% of students are attending full time, while 30% attend part time.
  • 33% of the women who completed FAFSA forms self-reported that they receive public assistance upon entry to program.
  • 76% of students are residents of Niagara County , while 23% of students are residents of Erie County

This initiative was originally designed to reach 80-100 low-income single mothers each semester over three years, and we will likely have the opportunity to serve more women than expected. Students in the program have the opportunity to participate in career and academic coaching, peer mentoring, financial aid and career planning workshops, and study groups specifically created for the participants and supported by childcare opportunities through NCCC's accredited Child Development Center.

Erica's Story:

According to our Pathways to Progress Report, education and career development are the most powerful tools for developing sustainable career pathways and economic independence. For women raising children on their own and living in poverty, in order to get back on her feet and headed toward economic security, she may need support with life skills - from parenting to managing money - and ultimately education and training geared toward sustainable employment. The MOMS: From Education to Employment initiative is a tailored program that coordinates education, experience and skills development, and aligns both educational goals with careers that provide a family-sustaining wage.


 Thank you to the following for making this program possible:

Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo, First Niagara Foundation, Grigg Lewis Foundation, Joseph and Anna Gartner Fund,
Josephine Goodyear Foundation, Joy Family Foundation, 
Patrick P. Lee Foundation, Phil & Nicole Nobel, 
WNY Power Authority, Hodgson Russ LLP, Niagara Area Foundation, National Grid, Garman Family Foundation, Elf Foundation
and United Way of Buffalo and Erie County.