National News

WSSU student starts nonprofit to help single mothers

Posted November 29, 2017 12:00 p.m. EST

— In about two weeks, Rasheeda Shankle will graduate with her bachelor's degree from Winston-Salem State University.

"I'm excited about what's to come," Shankle said.

The 27-year-old has come a long way since 2009.

"I stopped going to school," she said. "I got robbed. I moved from low-incoming housing to low-incoming housing until I realized it was time to do something else."

Shankle, a single mother, made minimum wage and struggled to get by.

"Day care, rent, gas," she said. "I didn't have anything after my checks after I paid my bills for years."

It's a cycle of poverty she wants to help other single mothers get out of.

"Help these women become financially stable." Shankle said.

She's starting the Two-Generations program, which will teach basic financial skills to single moms making less than $15,000 a year.

Shankle came up with the idea after starting her nonprofit Honorable Youth in 2015, which mentors middle and elementary school kids.

She realized many of their mothers needed help.

"They don't even have a credit score and if they do have one, it's really bad," she said.

On Nov. 16, the nonprofit won a $15,000 grant from The Women's Fund of Winston-Salem to start the program.

It'll be open to mothers and their daughters like Crystal and Cherie Capers.

"It's kind of hard to put food on the table, paying my bills," Crystal Capers said. "It's a lot."

Capers is a single mother of five and works as a personal assistant.

She hopes the program will help her go back to cosmetology school and eventually open a salon.

"I want to really live out my dream and have my own business," Capers said.

It's a small start Shankle hopes will help a bigger issue.

"Poverty is really real in Winston-Salem and something has to be done," Shankle said.

The Two-Generations program starts in January. You can apply from now through the end of December.

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