Austin program helps single moms achieve their dreams
21-year-old Deja Phillips has big plans for her future.
"My hope is to become a juvenile probation officer, and my biggest dream is to own a house," Deja said.
But as a single mother with a young child those hopes and dreams seemed out of reach.
"One day I woke up," Deja said. "I have to change my life for him."
Then she found the Jeremiah Program in Austin.
"The families we support are all single families led by single moms," Jeremiah Program Executive Director Shannon Moody said.
The program's mission is to help women achieve their dreams of college and a career with top to bottom support and full-time daycare.
"On our campus we have 35 two bedroom apartments," Moody said. "They all are furnished."
Every unit has its own full kitchen. They have a little living area and two bedrooms. One room for the mom and one room for the children.
"We have a five classroom early education center," Moody said. "We have two playgrounds. We have shared community space and everything the families could need to thrive."
Deja says the program removed all of the roadblocks in her way to help her start realizing her dreams.
"It's provided the stability that I didn't have before," Deja said.
"You can imagine going to a low paying job," Moody said. "You can't afford high quality childcare for your child. No way can you afford school and take the time to go to school."
Now Deja's says she has high hopes for a brighter future.
"It's allowed me to things I never thought I could do," Deja said.
The Jeremiah Program has more spots available for mothers in Austin who need help. Program leaders are also hosting a competitive fundraiser called the Epic Battle for members of the community who want to get involved and help this program grow.