A new program starting in January will focus on helping low-income single mothers and their daughters break the cycle of poverty. “Two-Generations” will offer free workshops and financial planning assistance.

The project is in part supported by a recent $15,000 grant from the Women's Fund of Winston-Salem. Rasheeda Shankle is the organizing force behind it all. She spoke with WFDD's Bethany Chafin about how Two-Generations grew out of her nonprofit Honorable Youth.

Interview Highlights

On the mission of Honorable Youth:

Honorable Youth's mission is basically just to rebuild communities and inspiring youth to reach their full potential by providing needed resources and exposing them to new opportunities. Basically, to help the youth and their parents achieve intergenerational economic security.

On the entrepreneurship summer camp and the inspiration it provided:

We reach out to middle and high school students in the Forsyth County area, and we gather them together and we teach them the basics of entrepreneurship...The kids come up with a business idea and we pair them into teams so they will learn the importance of teamwork. They come up with a creative buisness idea, create business plans, they create logos for their businesses and business cards, and then they create marketing plans to actually market their business venture.

A lot of the parents [of the kids who were participating] were actually taking the book curriculums that we provided to the kids about entrepreneurship, and they were reviewing it with hopes to actually start their own business. The parents were calling us after the camp asking, 'Do you guys have any programs aimed to helping the parents achieve the same goals that the kids are?' And we came up with the Two-Generations program.

On the Two-Generations initiative and new resources:

We will offter financial literacy classes to them [mother/daughter participants], money management, entrepreneurship courses. We will have professionals come in to do leadership, career opportunities as well...so we will have a banker come in and go over their past credit, debt, or whatever it is that's hindering them from improving their credit score. And we will choose one bill that will fit their goal, and we will work towards paying that off to help them improve their credit score. So it's really about goal setting and exposing them to goal setting and money management. 

Another issue that we're going to bring up in the Two-Generations program, we're going to offer free therapy sessions to the mothers who are going through any type of mental health issues or are just stressed about their basic day-to-day life. Because everyone needs someone to talk to every now and then. Therapy is really expensive and mental health is a major issue within the low-income communities. Anyone would break down if they can't feed their kids. It's an issue. So we really want to make sure the parents are receiving any type of therapy or mental health assistance that they need. 


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