Single Parent Scholarship Fund began as a grassroots effort to provide financial support and services to low income single parents in order to reduce or remove the barriers to success. In 1984, Founders Marjorie Marugg-Wolfe and Ralph Nesson envisioned a holistic approach that included financial support, mentoring, career and personal counseling, referrals to other community services, self-improvement workshops, moral support and bolstering a sense of family.
Awarding seven $150 scholarships in its inaugural semester, the Single Parent Scholarship Fund of Benton County (SPSFBC) paved the way of hope and opportunity for thousands of single parents. Within 6 months of graduation, around 85% of SPSFBC scholarship recipients obtain a job above the poverty level. Over time, the success of this approach to educational support in Benton and Washington Counties led to the establishment of the Arkansas Single Parent Scholarship Fund affiliate system, growing to serve all 75 counties in Arkansas.
Today, SPSFBC has made great strides in helping to improve the quality of life for thousands of single parents and their children throughout Benton County. Community volunteers are the lifeblood of this program. In 2001 President George Bush presented Marjorie Marugg-Wolfe the nation’s highest honor for community volunteers, the annual Points of Light President’s Community Service Award.
“We’re not just giving scholarships, lives are being changed.”