Hello Single Moms and Community Supporters!

We hope everyone is enjoying the beginning of summer. We have been busy this year with our monthly Single Mom Meetings, writing our first program, recruiting new board members & getting ready for our 3rd Annual LUNAFEST!

As mentioned above we are developing on our first program that will help our clients create a customized, goal-centered plan for higher education and problem solve barriers to that plan which will help them be more self-sufficient. If you are looking for some volunteer work this summer please let us know, we have several research & outreach projects that would help us in this development stage.

LUNAFEST – is moving to the movies! Please save the date for Oct. 11th as our 3rd annual event moves to Movies 400! Carmike Cinemas has generously donated their facility & Screen Vision is donating a screen ad for 30 days before the event! We have 3 levels of sponsorship, but by far the Oscar level at $1,000 is the most exciting! A sponsor’s logo will get exposure before every movie, in every theater for 30 days! If interested email Valerie we are only offering 10 of these spaces.

And finally, to do all this exciting work we need your help. If empowering single mothers to higher education, which will help them be self-sufficient and their families live above the poverty level, is something you would like to be involved with please contact us, we would love to talk to you about how your talents can help us grow!

We hope you enjoy the new format of our newsletter – filled with tips for everyone! Please forward this email and connect with us through our social media sites!

Valerie Daniel


Lanier Tech Info!

By Deanna Orza

We here at Lanier Technical College have had an exciting year so far in 2012 and would love to be able to share with you some of the opportunities you might find here at our campus in Forsyth.  As a fully accredited* college, credits earned by Lanier Tech students will now be even easier to transfer to other institutions within the University System.   For example, our Technical Specialist Certificate allows students, looking to pursue a Bachelors degree, an opportunity to take advantage of our lower cost and financial aid to obtain a majority of their core classes here.
Our programs of study were developed to support our local community, with training in Business, Computer, Personal and Public Services and Health Care, granting Certificates (typically less than one year of study), Diplomas and Associate Degrees.  A major benefit, besides our small class size, location and community reputation, is our ability to offer financial aid assistance to a wide population of students.  For those seeking a Certificate, the HOPE Grant is generally available to most of our students that are residents of Georgia for at least two years, with no high school GPA or income level required.  Diploma students can obtain both the HOPE Grant as well as earn the PELL Grant.  PELL Grant is based on income.  The HOPE Grant will cover 80% of the cost of your tuition!   Degree students are also eligible to receive PELL Grant however, you will need to be a recent Georgia High School graduate and have earned a 3.0 GPA to receive the HOPE Scholarship.
We will be starting our Summer Semester May 21st with registration for classes on April 19th.  If you would like to get enrolled, please submit an application with our Student Affairs office as soon as possible to get the process started.   Fall Semester begins August 20th with registration and advisement held on July 26th.  Deadline to have your application and documents necessary for acceptance is June 26th.
Please visit our website at for some of our upcoming Open Houses dates and times.  These offer a perfect opportunity to tour the campus, meet with faculty and speak with Student Affairs representatives.  Tentative dates are set for June.
If you would like to schedule a tour or would like more general information, please contact Deanna Orza, Director of Enrollment at dorza@laniertech.eduor by phone at 770-781-6770.
I am always happy to help others discover the benefits of education and how easy going back to school can be!

“My girls spent two years with their father before returning home with me in August 2010. My girls were out of sort and confused. Julia* had abandonment issues. I couldn’t even run to the store without her crying. Megan* closed herMentor Meself off from everybody. I attend a NAMI group class which is a mental health group and where I was introduced to Mentor Me. This sounded like a great place for my girls. When they matched Megan up with her Mentor she took to her very fast. She gave her something to look forward to each week. They would go shopping and bake cookies at her home. Julia was matched and it took her a little time to adjust to her mentor, but as time went on she began to trust her. I saw a change in her every week. Julia now enjoys learning and spending time with her Mentor at the park and with her children. I believe these Mentors that have entered my children’s lives have brought them happiness and stability as well as a friend. My girls trust these women.

The Program Mentor Me has also been a great place for functions like bowling, painting, and a Christmas Party. My girls have a lot of fun at these events, make lots of friends, and never feel left out. They feel a part of something. The Mentor Me program has done so much for my family. Megan is more social and Julia is more independent. This has been a big change. I’d recommend the program to anyone. Thank you Mentor Me!”   * Names have been changed to protect privacy.

by Sylvia Cardona

By Diana Badar

Energy. Everyone I know wants more, and everyone can give me a detailed list why they don’t have any. The truth is, you are in charge of your own energy, who gets it
and how much. Period. No one can take it from you, you give it away.  “What?! No way. You just don’t know my life.”

There is a secret those people who seem to be able “to do it all” know. They choose where their energy goes. They know their core values, they align their priorities
to those values, and that is where their energy goes first, every time. By giving energy to the things that matter most, you also gain energy because you are honoring your
core values.

How do you find your core values? Pay attention to the things that give you joy. That excite you. That make you content. Make a list. Lump things from the list
together and find common themes. Label them. This is a process, but eventually try to narrow it down to 5 – 7 words that describe who you are, what is important to you.
Those words are your core values, and the people, activities, and goals for your life should represent those values.

One of my values is Nature. I love animals, I love being outside. I love plants, how the sky changes and being by the water. I could go on and on, and thats how I
know I value it. But, what this also tells me, about me, is that I would go stark raving mad in a cubicle. That I would choose a hike over a treadmill any day, even in the rain
or snow. That I need pets. I don’t care if my hands get dirty. That I would take a starry country night over the bright lights of the city every time. Why is this important? It helps
me choose. Where to work, where to live, even how to exercise so I stick to it. It allows me to know the kind of people I want in my life. All the things that are going to make me
happy and give me the energy to be the best me I can be.

So the next time you feel your energy draining, pay attention. What is out of line with your values? What are your choices? Do you need to set up some boundaries? Do
you really need to take that call, or finish baking cupcakes with your kids? You get to decide.

“Life is what happens when you are busy making other plans.” John Lennon

Summer break is just around the corner but it’s not too late to sign your child up for a camp. Many local churches, private schools and daycare centers offer day camps in addition to the more traditional YMCA camps and Parks and Recreation camps. There are several things to think about and consider when looking at summer camps for your child.

1. Day camp or Overnight camp? Both are great options, but not every child is going to be ready for an overnight camp. Unfortunately there is no ‘magical age’ for when a child is ready for the overnight experience. You know your child and you know whether he or she is comfortable spending the night away from home. This should be a major consideration when thinking about enrolling in an overnight camp. If your child isn’t comfortable sleeping over with friends, then consider day camp for this summer.

2. What Type of camp? There are many different varieties of camps. Some day camps will provide a variety of activities throughout the day…including games, sports, and crafts. If your child likes to do many different things then this might be a fun camp to consider. Some camps cater to specific interests or talents…such as sports camps, musical camps, computer camps, art camps and theme camps. If your child has a particular talent or interest, a summer camp devoted to that single area might be an excellent choice.

3. Staff qualifications? It is important to ask about the people who will be working with your child at camp. Make sure they have criminal background checks and that someone at the camp has first-aid training.

4. Ratios? Overnight camps should have a 1:6 ratio for ages 7 and 8; 1:8 for ages 9 to 14 and 1:10 for ages 15 to 18. Day camp guidelines call for 1:8 for children ages 6 to 8; 1:10 for children ages 9 to 14 and 1:12 for ages 15 to 18. Any camp where there is swimming or other dangerous activities should have a lower ratio.

5. Daily schedule? Ask to see what the typical daily schedule would be. Some children love structure, others prefer more freedom, especially during their summer break. Find out whether your child will be ‘required’ to participate in all activities or whether he or she will have a choice about what to do each day.

Most importantly, trust your instincts. You know your child and his or her interests. If you find a camp that seems interesting and fun for your child then he or she will likely have a great summer camp experience.

There was a time in my younger years when I was brave. I had a naïve confidence that was downright scary.  I leapt off the roof of my house into the pool below more times than I can count. I skated at full speed weaving in and out of people and I drove my moped on some treacherous dirt bike trails. As I’ve gotten older and weathered a divorce, I’m sad to say I have lost that. I no longer have the ability to leap without looking and I tend to take measurements of my landing area. I’m much more careful on roller skates and don’t get me started on my reluctance with machinery these days. I’m not really sure if it’s concern of instilling that lack of fear in my own children or I’ve just lost the mojo that drove me initially to take chances.


Although single parents should be considered the kamikaze parents of the adult world; the fact is we’re scared. Just like a child who’s been burned by a hot stove, they become nervous around anything in the kitchen, so do we divorced parents feel that way. Once love surfaces to us again we worry about the ultimate demise of it all. We’re worried about subjecting our children to any further scarring. In the workplace, we fear losing our jobs and not being able to provide for the children we are responsible for. We concern ourselves with not going after promotions and raises because we don’t want to rock the boat. We walk around in a body covered with band aids making sure we don’t run into anything and cause even more injury to ourselves. Maybe it’s just me.


Personally, I’m on a mission to find my younger self. I want to hunt down the scrawny kid who tried out for cheerleading even when she had a burn on her leg (from my brother’s motorcycle adventure) and couldn’t complete the splits, to say the least. I didn’t make the team that year by the way. The same kid who went door-to-door for days at a time to ask strangers for their cereal box tops for a competition at school. Getting bit by a pit bull didn’t deter me from my goal and I managed to win first place. The girl that wasn’t afraid to verbalize what she wanted without concerns for the repercussions. I was brave enough to try anything and smart enough to deal with the failure of it.

I want to find the younger girl that was brave enough to take chances despite what their outcome might be. I’m looking for the girl that trusted her instincts and acted upon them immediately. The younger self that walked into interviews like she already worked there, instead of my older self that goes into interviews insecure and ridiculously nervous. I feel that way because I know failure now. I know what’s at stake, gaining confidence back, being able to support my children and continue striving towards my goals.


Recently I took my children snow skiing for the first time. When they were in the hands of a ski instructor, they flourished and did extremely well. Once they were turned over to me, my fear of them falling crept into them and they started doubting themselves. Since I was only a novice skier myself, I felt like I couldn’t help them like I should. More importantly, I couldn’t muster the confidence to make them realize they could do it without my help. However, there was a brief moment when we all stood atop the mountain looking down. My kids had on skis for the very first time in their lives and the ski instructor had left us to our own devices. I looked at them both and told them to go ahead and give it all they had. It dawned on me as they took off through the snow with wild abandon and me trekking after them, I was still being brave.

By: Beth Rider Westbrooks


Single Mom Meeting – New Time / Location. 

Faith’s House, Inc. is sponsoring a Lunch and Learn meeting for single moms. We now meet the 2nd Thursday every month from 6:30pm – 8:00pm at Mentor Me North GA; Connect with other single moms, learn about paths to higher education and get links to community resources. Light dinner provided & free on-site childcare/ homework help provided.

210 Dahlonega St., Suite 203, Cumming, GA 30040

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  • faithshouse: Hi everyone - I wanted to also share with you that after you complete 30 hours in college you can apply for the Hope Scholarship, you will need a B av
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