Single moms earn degrees, support

By Michelle Costanza

June 5, 2014 Updated Jun 6, 2014 at 1:06 PM EST

Johnson City, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Five local women earned degrees this spring by forging a path to success that many single parents find close to impossible.

The graduates gathered at Mom's House Thursday evening to celebrate their perseverance and dreams to enrich their lives.

While Mom's House provided childcare and education to their children, the women were each enabled to enroll full-time in school. Laura Bowen, executive director of Mom's House, said not only did they enroll, but they excelled.

"To be a good student and a good parent at the same time is more of a challenge than a lot of students have to face," said Vice President of Mom's House Board of Directors Donna Rahner.

Four of the mothers are SUNY Broome graduates, and the fifth earned her regents degree from Johnson City High School. Many maintained near-perfect grades and plan to continue their schooling this fall.

"We're a family here so we have known many of these clients since their child was very young going through our program, so it's great to see everybody grow," said Bowen.

This year's graduates said that without the free childcare and unwavering support, they likely would not be holding degrees or pursuing their dreams.

"They have given me a chance to make a better life for my son," said Brigid, who earned her associates degree in Individual Health Studies from SUNY Broome.

Brigid hopes to pursue her education further at Binghamton University next year through the nursing program. If she is accepted, she said part of the reward will be the ability to stay involved at Mom's House -- the community that she now considers her second family.