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East Central University was one of 14 campuses across the state to receive a grant from the Women’s Foundation of Oklahoma (WFO), designed to create economic self-sufficiency for Oklahoma women and girls.

The grant, up to $5,000, was awarded based on the ability to provide support for single mother students and for the program’s ability for a broad impact on a significant number of students.

“We’re excited to be able to obtain a grant which will benefit a significant portion of our university population,” said ECU President Katricia R. Pierson. “This endeavor is close to my heart because of my experiences of being a single mother and pursuing a degree in higher education.”

Funds from the grant will benefit the Tiger Moms program which will host fall and spring retreats. The retreats will feature speakers who will discuss topics such as managing time and stress, quick and healthy meals, interviewing techniques and dressing for success. In addition, Tiger Moms will be having activities throughout the semester such as pumpkin carving/painting for Tiger Moms and their children, cooking classes, informative monthly luncheons with a guest speaker and other activities designed to unite and inform single mothers at ECU.

Tiger Moms was formed in 2016 for the purpose of helping enrolled ECU single female students who have dependents. Since its inception, Tiger Moms has created a positive environment where single moms can network with campus and community resources and learn from one another while earning a college degree.

This initiative was launched in 2015 when the Women’s Foundation of Oklahoma awarded their first seven grants to Oklahoma educational institutions. In addition to providing funds, this grant has helped raise awareness for the focused supports of the single parent population on campus. Single mother student activities and/or programs are now on higher education campuses in Oklahoma.

“We are thrilled to work with the Tiger Moms program at East Central University to help improve the experience of single parents attending college,” said Teresa Rose Crook, WFO executive director. “Our goal is to eliminate barriers that may be in the way of degree completion and create a better quality of life for these families.”

The staff advisor for Tiger Moms is Kelcie Branscum, second-year retention specialist at ECU. For more information on Tiger Moms contact Branscum at 580-559-5874.

The Women’s Foundation of Oklahoma is an endowed fund of Communities Foundation Oklahoma and has paid over $550,000 to organizations who are providing direct services to the single parent population and dedicated to the economic self-sufficiency of Oklahoma women and girls. The WFO Endowment is managed by Communities Foundation of Oklahoma.

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