|Address||182 Pond St. |
Boston, Massachusetts , United States
|| September 24, 1949
|Contributor||Not in Public Domain|
|Last Modifed||Mr. Matt|
Nov 24, 2021 07:16pm
|Info||It sounds simple enough — help women out of the cycle of homelessness by providing them with a college education and a support system. |
Legislating in self-sufficiency was something Marjorie Clapprood tried to accomplish as a six-year state rep and then with her agenda during a close bid for Massachusetts lieutenant governor and, in 1998, a run for Congress.
Welfare-to-work reform was also a topic she touched on during her “Clapprood & Whitley” morning drive radio talk shows and as host of the weekly “Clapprood Live!” Lifetime television show.
Now, as executive director of nonprofit One Family Scholars, Clapprood is making the high hope a reality.
The Boston-based nonprofit provides financial support and a range of services for struggling women and their families while attending college and working part time. The idea is to provide them with the means to support themselves and their children, stay off welfare, become positive role models and break out of poverty.
“Although it’s a new chapter in my life, it’s really almost as if I’ve been preparing to do this my whole life,” Clapprood says, “and it may be the most important work that I’ve done.”
Clapprood was immersed in her strategic positioning consultancy, Marjorie Clapprood Associates, when she learned about One Family Scholars’ national search for an executive director from her friends, Phyllis and Paul Fireman.
Their Fireman Foundation had run the program for several years as a pilot project, growing from seven scholars to 25 to 35 by the time Clapprood couldn’t resist joining in the effort in 2004.
In Clapprood’s first year, the program accepted 65 scholars. Last year, there were 102. At the time of this interview, applications were just going out for a class of 125. As well, the start of a sister program in Philadelphia was in final negotiations.
“Investing in human capital is better than anything on the stock market because what you get is not just a college graduate who’s going to have an earning potential of self-sufficiency but also the positive impact of stability on the children who are living in the chaos of homelessness,” Clapprood says.
One Family Scholars searches for women who run the risk of homelessness, or have been there, and are ready, willing and capable of pursuing a college degree.
They either have a high school diploma or a GED, and they’re desperate for decent pay, for a permanent address, for groceries, health care, day care and all the other components that comprise a safe, stable, healthy environment.
They must maintain a grade point average of 2.5, although 3.1 is more the norm, and they’re assisted at five, to-date, community affiliate sites with one-on-one coaching and social needs help, evening and weekend leadership training and cash to cover any gaps in tuition assistance and living expenses.
The average investment in a scholar is about $20,000. “It sounds like a lot of money,” Clapprood says, “but when you consider that the state spends two-and-a-half times that just to keep a woman with two children in a shelter for a year, it’s a great investment.”