RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — A scholarship program for single mothers in the Richmond area is back for the second year in a row.

Local nonprofit United Way of Greater Richmond & Petersburg has brought back its WomenRise scholarship, which provides grants to single mothers in the Richmond and Petersburg area to pay for child care services while they are working toward a post-secondary degree or credential.

The WomenRise program is offered annually through an application process in the spring, according to a release from United Way. The scholarship covers the cost of direct care services for each child during the time the mother is enrolled in classes or a training program. Scholarship funds are paid directly to the child care provider.

The deadline to apply for the scholarship is May 31. This year, 20 single moms will receive scholarships through the program — a significant rise from last year’s six due to an increase in donor support. United Way will announce the recipients over the summer.

“This program exists to help single mothers reach their education and career goals, which will help their families on the path to a successful future,” said James L. M. Taylor, President and CEO of Richmond’s local United Way chapter. “We know that the cost of childcare can be a barrier to success for families, especially for single mothers, and we look forward to meeting the 2022 class and seeing all they accomplish.”

Mothers applying to the program must meet the following criteria:

  • Be a single female head of household with custody of at least one child
  • Be enrolled or have plans to enroll in an education or career training program that is at least 40 hours and that results in a degree or credential
  • Have an annual income of $60,000 or less
  • Reside in the Greater Richmond and Petersburg region
  • Use a licensed or voluntary registered child care provider

United Way is a nonprofit organization focused on creating education, financial and health initiatives that aim to improve the quality of life for the communities it serves. Additional information about the WomenRise scholarship is available on United Way’s website.