LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Just a few years ago, Gerald Savage and his two kids were living in the basement of his mother’s home in Laurel County. On Tuesday, Savage graduated and plans to pursue a graduate degree in business at the University of Kentucky. He owes it to hard work, dedication, and the people at Lexington’s One Parent Scholar House.
“The donors and sponsors here are a wonderful blessing to all of us,” he said before Tuesday’s reception for graduating residents of the Scholar House.
The One Parent Scholar House is home to 80 qualifying single mothers or fathers who are pursuing a college degree. It also provides daily child care on the grounds, so parents don’t have to worry about that expense. Once accepted here, residents can stay with their children for as long as they are enrolled in college. 28 single parents earned a degree this spring. Some will go off into the workforce, others like Gerald and his friend Caci Hisle will continue their education.
“I’m going to UK med school,” Hisle said after the reception. She is a mother of one who now holds a degree from UK in Medical Laboratories. Once in medical school, she plans to pursue a career in Pathology.
“Dr. Caci Hisle! I can’t wait,” she said when talking about the title she working to earn.
The campus here looks like any apartment complex, but the residents all have many of the same things in common: they are single. They are parents. And they are looking to improve their lives with the benefit of a college degree.
“Trying to raise kids, trying to get homework done, some of them are also working at the same time, so they have each other’s backs. They become friends, their children grow up together,” said Katie Vogel of Lexington’s Hope Center.
Caci said she still speaks to former residents regularly and doesn’t anticipate that ever coming to an end. Vogel noted that the residents will rely on one another for babysitting at night, so the other can have some quiet time to study.
“I couldn’t have done it without my work-study programs, couldn’t have done it without the mentors I got. And I couldn’t have done it without my neighbors,” Hisle said.
“Life-changer. It’s a life-changer,” Mr. Savage said of the One Parent Scholar House.
If you’d like to learn more about the One Parent Scholar House, including how to donate or volunteer, click here.