Emilia Diamant is a Boston girl, born and bred. While she has lived elsewhere (New York, Costa Rica, North Carolina), this city is home and where she discovered her passion for “extra-curricular” programs. Her participation in theater and music programs, youth group, mediation, and community service, had a lot to do with shaping her identity and career. She did her undergraduate work at NYU, where she created her own concentration, "Urban Informal Education" and put her passion for after-school programming to work as a student in New York, at the Boys Club.
In the past few years, Emilia's efforts have shifted to focus on women and children, in both her work life and as a volunteer to insure reproductive health and wage equity. She works to include intersectional feminism in everything she does to ensure that that her efforts benefit all women, not just women like her. Jeremiah Program has given her the opportunity to work with and on behalf of Boston women as they strive to improve their lives and the lives of their children.
Jeremiah Program partners with low-income single mothers and their young children in Boston to empower them to move out of poverty through education for both generations--career-track college for mothers and quality learning for children.
Our program operates wrap-around services from our two-story rental space in Dudley Square. We provide and coordinate five fundamental services for both generations all under one roof: Empowerment & Life Skills Training, Career-Track College Coaching, Supportive Community, and referrals for Safe, Affordable Housing and Quality Education for the Second Generation. These services, combined with mothers’ determination, put families on a pathway to prosperity.
Single mothers are navigating a system often stacked against them. Those with young children experience especially deep economic disparities, being ten times more likely to live in poverty than their married counterparts. In Boston, women with Bachelor’s Degrees earn more than twice as much as women with only a high school diploma or equivalent. Investing in post-secondary education promises huge returns and is particularly important for women, who face a wage gap when they enter the workforce.
However, single mothers face an especially daunting journey to earn a post-secondary degree, balancing classes, homework, and parenting with a job to afford costly housing and childcare. While getting into college is one hurdle, staying in college is often even more challenging. Single mothers are twice as likely as other students to leave college without a degree. Two significant reasons for this disparity are work and child care obligations. In fact, in a recent study of community college students, student parents reported that caring for their children on top of going to college can be too much to handle, and 43% of women at two-year institutions said they were likely or very likely to withdraw from college to care for dependents.
Since Jeremiah Program first came to Boston in 2014, we have made much progress to achieve our mission to transform families from poverty to prosperity. We are proud to report that four of our moms have completed their Associate’s Degrees and are continuing their education. In addition, 87% of our moms have persisted at Endicott College-Boston, remaining enrolled in school to help them move toward sustaining career-track employment.
Our early results in Boston mirror the important outcomes that Jeremiah Program is seeing for women all across the country. A recent survey of Jeremiah Program alumnae revealed that 100% of graduates are living in safe housing, 91% are employed or continuing their education, and 81% of their children are performing at or above grade level. The majority of graduates have moved from below to above the Federal Poverty Line, achieving a national benchmark for prosperity. An extensive study completed by external researchers found that Jeremiah generates a 4:1 Return on Investment (ROI) in social benefits for communities as a direct result of increased tax revenues and decreased public assistance.