Dallas, Luzerne County — 26-year-old Misericordia University junior Ashley Peachey does more than juggle studies and her commitment to the Pennsylvania Army National Guard. The Kingston native is also a single mom. While the military GI bill helps pay for her education, she’s not sure she’d have an opportunity of higher learning without Misericordia’s Women with Children Program. It provides Ms. Peachey and her 3 and a half year old daughter free housing in campus-owned buildings. “I’m just incredibly grateful. I’m incredibly blessed to be a part of this program,” said Ms. Peachey.

Washington, D.C. native Felicia Glover is also part of the program. The 27-year-old single mother of two boys featured in Women with Children Program literature is working toward becoming a college graduate in 2017. It will mark a first in her family. “Me being the first graduate that means a lot to me. And to have my children next to me doing it, that is a huge accomplishment,” she said.

Many more single moms may also have that opportunity to pursue a college education at Misericordia. The University’s Class of 2018 has launched a student philanthropy project to create an endowment scholarship for students enrolled in the Women with Children Program. Sophomores Michael Dubinski and Michael Gombita helped spearhead the initiative to raise $25,000 to fund the scholarship as their classgraduating gift to the University. “They’re setting basically the bar for the rest of the classes that come into Misericordia,” said Mr. Gombita who is president of the university’s “Students Today, Alumni Forever” organization. Mr. Dubinski who is Misericordia’s Class of 2018 President added, “It’s going to help change the lives of a woman and her child build a bridge out of poverty to the shores of opportunity.”

Women with Children currently houses 10 singles moms and their kids at Pauly House and Rasmussen House. A third location will soon allow six more students and their families to participate. The endowment scholarship will only help further the program’s goals. “They saw the value in our program and how impactful the program can be for our moms and our children,” said Misericordia Women with Children Program Director Katherine Pohlidal.

This marks the first scholarship fund generated by a currently enrolled class at Misericordia University. The inaugural Women With Children scholarship will be awarded in 2019. Meanwhile, the Class of 2018 will hold “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” benefit concert Saturday night at 7:30 at Lemmond Theater in Walsh hall. Proceeds will go toward the Women with Children Endowed Scholarship Fund. You can learn more about the fund by clicking here or by calling 570-674-6768.