The Arkansas Single Parent Scholarship Fund (ASPSF) is a scholarship program available to single parents to help educate, employ and empower those that are ready to take steps, through education, to change their future for themselves and their children. The ASPSF has 25 years of proven success behind them, along with a vast network of passionate volunteers and faithful donors. Their unique approach provides single parents with the opportunity to advance their education in the hopes of reducing poverty in Arkansas, a benefit to both Arkansas and single parents for many years to come. The Arkansas Single Parent Scholarship Fund’s mission statement is “To enable single parents to attain self-sufficiency through post-secondary education” and they envision an Arkansas in which:
Single parents can access choices and have opportunities to complete their education,
achieve financial independence, and meet the needs of their families.
There are support systems in place that enable students to attain meaningful,
Single parents are seen as valuable, contributing members of Arkansas’ society and
there are sustainable educational endowments for single parents.
While I can list many factors that benefit a single parent through this program, let me tell you about my personal journey with ASPSF by my side. My name is Timbre Chenard and I have been a recipient of the ASPSF for a few semesters now. At the time I first applied for this scholarship, I had recently moved here from Virginia and was going through an extremely difficult and painful divorce. Thoughts of how I would support my son and me constantly flooded my brain, as I had been a homemaker for the entire duration of my 5-year marriage. I had no marketable workforce skills and the jobs that I did get required long hours away from my son, with little pay to show for that sacrifice. I didn’t want to be another single mother statistic. Living below the poverty line (like 45% of children being raised by a single parent as stated in the Single Mother Guide) wasn’t the ideal life I dreamed of for my son and me. Therefore, going back to school and continuing my education was a way for me to turn our unstable future around.
My journey began in August, 2016. The ASPSF program allowed me to take the classes I needed to apply to the nursing program. Through a lot of hard work, a few tears and daily motivation (and with the help of family, friends, and the ASPSF) I was able to push through those classes and not only apply to, but also be accepted into, Ozarka College’s nursing program. With the assistance of this life-changing program, I will obtain a degree that offers my son and me a secure and stable future. Not only will I gain employment in the medical field, I will also become a self-sufficient single parent with marketable skills for success. This journey would not have been possible if not for the support and resources I was given through the Arkansas Single Parent Scholarship Fund. My hope is that this program will reach other single parents out there…struggling to make a bright future for their family.
To learn more information about the ASPSF please visit the website at www.aspsf.org. or contact The Van Buren County SPSF Chair, Skip Davis at (501) 884-6240. The deadline to submit an application for the fall semester is August 1, 2017.