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We are a family of four, including two parents, Sean and Emily, as well as two children, Eva and Andrew. Emily has a master’s degree in social work, has worked in mental health counseling and research, and for the past 20 years has focused on career services and higher education. Sean has a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering and has spent his career in finance and technology. Eva is in high school and enjoys dancing and community service. Andrew is also in high school and spends his free time playing soccer and running.


Our family created Promising Pathways Scholarships to help make a difference in the areas of poverty, inequality, disabilities, and children and families by helping students to complete their degrees and thereby create a better life for themselves and their loved ones. 



Why this focus? Having family and extended family members who have had personal experiences with hearing loss and being single parents, we felt this is a good way for us to give back. We understand some of the challenges both groups uniquely face when trying to further their education and secure sustainable jobs. Research also shows that completing higher education degrees is one of the best ways to break the cycle of poverty and fight against inequality. Basically, the higher the degree, the smaller the percentage of graduates who end up earning below poverty levels. Furthermore, earning post-secondary credentials is linked to several other benefits for individuals and their families.


Our scholarships are hosted on’s platform, which manages outreach, applications, and distributing funds to the winners’ schools.  If you or anyone you know is looking for post-secondary scholarships, be sure to check them out! They offer a wide variety of awards, including for certain groups, majors, backgrounds, and so on.

The Research

While attending higher education can be stressful for many students, some individuals face additional challenges to enrolling and completing their degrees, including students who are single parents and students who are hard of hearing. Both groups tend to already have low incomes and are less likely to graduate than other students. For example, the vast majority of single mothers (89%) in the U.S. are low-income and 63% are at or below federal poverty levels. These groups of students also have higher expenses, needing costly childcare services and hearing aids and cochlear implants that are rarely covered by insurance. 


However, the benefits of finishing their degrees can be life changing. Research shows that earning a postsecondary credential will lead to higher earnings, reduced poverty rates, improved health and well-being, and increased civic engagement. Furthermore, for those with children, completing degrees has an intergenerational benefit on their children’s behavior and education (they are also more likely to attend college themselves). Finally, earning postsecondary credentials results in a positive impact to society, as these individuals tend to contribute more taxes and are less likely to need public benefits and assistance.

Research and Sources:

Investing in Single Mothers’ Higher EducationAccelerating Postsecondary Success for ParentsSingle Mothers in CollegeHelping Students with Children GraduateNo Matter What Obstacle Is Thrown My WayPrepping Colleges for ParentsThe Socioeconomic Impact of Hearing Loss in US AdultsCollege Planning for Deaf and Hard of Hearing StudentsHigher Education Opportunities for Students with Hearing Losses

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