By David Wade

BOSTON (CBS) – Changing lives one family at a time. A Massachusetts program is helping low income, single parents go to college.

The program is called One Family Scholars, a non-profit that has given hundreds of students a chance, a chance they wouldn’t otherwise have.

“In school right now I’m in the surgical technology program and I just started this semester,” says 29-year-old Danielle Ramos who is from Framingham. She’s doing that not just because she’s smart and hardworking, but also because, through the One Family program, she earned a scholarship that covers her tuition and gives her a monthly stipend.

It also provides one on one coaching and encouragement. “I have the brains, but didn’t quite have the financial status, so having the One Family give me that is everything,” she says.

Danielle is in the surgical tech program at Mass Bay Community College’s Framingham campus. “I’ll be working in the operating room. I’ll be assisting the surgeon,” she says.

And making a good wage. “I love it. I think it’s knowing that I’m helping people,” she says.

She’ll also be able to support her son, four-year-old Ky. All the scholars are low income, some are homeless. Danielle remembers when she learned she would become a One Family scholar. “I was like, all right. I’m going to be able to finish college. I’m going to get a degree. Me and Ky, we’re going to be OK,” she says.

“We feel that once they have that credential and they’re able to get those good jobs that that’s really when that cycle of poverty breaks, and they’re able to make a better life for their children and their children can do better in the future,” says Matthew Miller, the program director for One Family.

Danielle is one of 90 One Family Scholars in Mass. this year. She is the first person in her family to go to college.


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