The Foundation’s largest investment is in this research-based program designed to enable single mothers to gain family-sustaining jobs.


The MOMs: From Education to Employment® program was designed based on both national best-practice research and focus groups conducted with the target population as a means to address the barriers to completing an education. The Foundation’s model incorporates case management, academic-success coaching, mentoring, peer-to-peer community building, career guidance, internship and job placement support, and campus cultural awareness building. Additionally, because the greatest predictor of a child’s success is their parent’s educational attainment, children of single mothers benefit from watching their mother strive for higher education.

In September 2013, we partnered with selected grantee, Niagara County Community College (NCCC), to implement the MOMs: From Education to Employment® program in order to improve retention, graduation, and employment rates within Regional Economic Council’s targeted high-demand, high-wage fields such as Health, Tourism, and Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). Since inception, the program has exceeded expectations at NCCC and has expanded to Erie Community College (ECC) as of April 2017.  The Foundation continues to develop relationships with local educational institutions in hopes of replicating this program to expand reach.

After 8 semesters of the program at Niagara County Community College, 291 mothers have been served by the program (267 students, 24 alumnae). These mothers represent over 400 children who have also benefited from the program. 81 of these students have graduated.

The program has achieved the following outcomes at NCCC:

  • 145 mothers have found new employment.
  • 96 mothers have found internships.
  • 64 scholarships have been awarded.
  • On average, graduates of the program earn 68% more per week than enrolled students ($589/week compared to $351/week).
  • Single mothers are reporting increased flexibility and accommodations from faculty.
  • Campus sensitivity for single mothers has made a palpable gain.


  • 54% of mothers are over 30 years old – 20% over 40.
  • 70% of students are attending full-time, while 30% attend part-time.
  • Approximately 33% of the women who completed FAFSA forms self-reported that they received public assistance upon entry to program.
  • 65% of students are residents of Niagara County, 34% Erie County, and 1% “other”


  • Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo
  • First Niagara Foundation
  • Grigg Lewis Foundation
  • Joseph and Anna Gartner Fund
  • Josephine Goodyear Foundation
  • Joy Family Foundation
  • Patrick P. Lee Foundation
  • Phil & Nicole Nobel
  • WNY Power Authority
  • Hodgson Russ LLP
  • Niagara Area Foundation
  • National Grid
  • Garman Family Foundation
  • Elf Foundation and United Way of Buffalo and Erie County

“MOMs helped me build my confidence up.  I always turn to Kelly to figure out the next step.  My son started daycare when I started school. My son watching me go to school was motivating.”