Katharine Pohidal is the Program Director of the Women with Children (WWC) Program at Misericordia University and was the guest speaker at the Feb 11 Rotary Zoom Meeting.
Katharine began with a Thank you to the Club for the $1,000 donation for gifts for the kids in the program for Christmas.  Many of the moms live at the poverty level and this gave them the chance to give their kids a good Christmas.  
The WWC program was started in 2000 by Sister Jean Messaros, a Sister of Mercy and Vice President of Mission Integration at the University. The program empowers economically disadvantaged single women and their children to realize their full potential through higher education. The women must first be accepted into Misericordia and then can apply for the program that will provide them with 4 years of free housing and various types of assistance and enrichment programs for themselves and their children. 
The COVID-19 pandemic brought a whole new level of operation to the program.  They never closed down the program and the families stayed in their homes, since most are home insecure or homeless.  They were able to support the families through all this and also had 6 families graduate last year. Support from the community was great during 2020.
Women graduates go into professional careers and even one going to get a Masters.
The program covers the tri-county area, which includes Wyoming County.  Now accepting a few others, like a mom from Minnesota. Children can be 2-9 yr old at their mom’s admission, so that they are no older than 12 at mom’s graduation.
They are adding a 4th home in Aug for 4 more families.  Therefore, they will service 20 families and be the largest and oldest of such programs in PA.

Katharine Pohidal