(Long Beach, Calif., September 21, 2022) Raise The Barr (RTB) and Long Beach City College (LBCC) announced an innovative partnership to launch a pilot program that will provide mentoring and housing for low-income and single-parent students their children will coordinate children. This is the first time the two organizations have collaborated to improve academic outcomes with a program focused on single LBCC students and their families.
“Often single parents struggle with a decision — whether to care for and support their children or take college courses to help themselves and their families have a better life,” said Uduak, executive chairman of the Long Beach Community College District (LBCCD). – Joe Ntuk. “Through this new partnership with Raise The Barr, our single parent students no longer have to make that difficult decision. They can attend their classes and focus on their degree or planned transfer to a university and not have to worry about paying their rent or finding affordable childcare.”
Twelve students will be selected by LBCC to participate in this year-long pilot program. Long Beach City College CARE, CalWORKs and Basic Needs staff will work closely with RTB’s All-Family Program Coordinators to provide comprehensive academic, mental health services and other basic needs to LBCC’s single parent students and their families, including:
- social housing
- Financial literacy and career development workshops at LBCC
“I know from personal experience that the mountains of being a single parent are challenging,” said Dr. Mike Muñoz, Superintendent-President of the LBCCD Support for single parents is not usually available until you attend a four-year university. This important partnership opens doors and resources specifically for our single parent students to continue their education and help their families thrive.”
Through this collaboration, LBCC’s first cohort of single parent students will gain access to Raise The Barr’s whole family model, designed to help single parents stay in college by intentionally and simultaneously working with both generations. Raise The Barr’s support includes activities focused on peer-to-peer support, mental health and well-being, healthy relationships, job training and career development, and financial empowerment, with an emphasis on reducing financial burden, stabilizing spending and building wealth.
Lori Barr, co-founder of Raise The Barr and a native of Southern California, said, “We are extremely excited to launch these new programs with LBCC. We hope they will serve as scalable, low-cost model programs for community colleges across the state, combining full-services with housing benefits to increase the 6-year graduation rate for single parents.”
Nationally, it is estimated that one in five undergraduate students is a parent, with about half of those being single parents. Student parents are more likely to identify with one or more marginalized communities; they are more likely to be first-generation students, identify as women and BIPOC, and live at or below the poverty line. Students who are single parents are much less likely to graduate than other undergraduate students. They also graduate with more student debt. Promoting academic success among single parents is critical to improving racial, ethnic and gender equity in access to higher education.
About Raise The Barr
Co-founder of UCLA All-American, Loyola High School alum, 4xPro-Bowl linebacker and 2022 Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Award finalist Anthony Barr and his Southern California mother, Lori Barr, in 2016. Raise The Barr was inspired by her lived experience as single parent family. Raise The Barr works with single parent students and their children to improve their opportunities and economic mobility through education. Single parent students and Raise The Barr work together to plan and implement a comprehensive program that results in health and well-being for the entire family. RTB invests in targeted supportive services and systemic change initiatives that help Single Parent Students (SPS) and their children achieve their financial, academic and health goals. Overall, our work improves a single parent student’s chance of succeeding and graduating, resulting in a range of benefits for families and society. For more information on Raise the Barr, visit www.raisethebarr.org or follow Raise The Barr on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.
About Long Beach City College
Long Beach City College consists of two campuses with an enrollment of over 25,000 students each semester and serves the cities of Avalon, Lakewood, Long Beach and Signal Hill. LBCC promotes equitable learning and student achievement, academic excellence, and staff development through the delivery of quality educational programs and support services to our diverse communities. Visit www.LBCC.edu for more information about Long Beach City College.