Innovative Solutions

Piloted by the Women’s Foundation for the State of Arizona in 2020, the Foundation has incubated the Pathways for Single Moms program which helps single mothers obtain a certificate in growing fields that pay sustainable wages.

The program has recently received state funding to scale its work across Arizona in partnership with nonprofit organizations and educational institutions. In Arizona, there are nearly half a million full-time working women who lack a college degree, including over 70,000 single mothers. Among the five most commonly held occupations for single mothers of young children, none provide a median wage higher than $30,000. Without a path to further education, these mothers cannot increase their earning potential.

The Pathways for Single Moms Program employs a multi-pronged approach that fundamentally shifts the future of low-income families by providing access to a combination of educational and economic opportunities to equip mothers with the tools they need to become economically self-sufficient.

Pathways for Single Moms is currently offered in three regions across the state. To learn more, please click the icon below.

Pathways for Single Moms Program

Pathways for Single Moms eliminates many barriers women face when going back to school. From child care to tuition, this program helps women succeed through one-year certificate programs in growing STEM fields.

Arizona has among the highest number of nonprofit organizations per capita in the entire nation, yet at least 500,000 mothers and their families are living on the margins. Many women are interested in returning to school to get into a career track that provides a worthy wage. However, low wages, rising tuition costs, and child care challenges often provide a barrier to success.

To address these challenges, WFSA created a pilot program of wraparound support for single mothers that helps them get certifications for careers with worthy wages to break the cycle of poverty for women and their families. In addition to assisting in navigating the enrollment process, the program provides up to 100% of tuition and childcare expenses, as well as a stipend for living expenses throughout the program.

Partnering Organizations

Single moms are beginning a new journey towards self-sufficiency with technical education training offered in partnership with Arizona organizations.

YWCA Southern Arizona

With a focus on women’s wellness, leadership, and economic justice, YWCA Southern Arizona is equipped to provide wrap-around supports including case management; access to free professional clothing and hygiene supplies; classes and coaching for participants interested in starting their own businesses; financial wellness, digital literacy, and career skills training; and wellness programs such as the Women’s Counseling Network, providing referrals to free counseling for women without insurance coverage.

Pima Community College

Pima Community College is the partnering organization in Southern Arizona with fast-track certificate programs that quickly prepare you to start a career in an in-demand field. In Pima’s IBEST programs, basic skills instruction is contextualized into the career/technical content, with Adult Education and technical instructors co-planning and co-teaching. This allows students to achieve education and employment goals faster.  

Dress for Success Phoenix

Dress for Success Phoenix designs and delivers programs to help women overcome challenges for every phase of their personal or professional journey, whether they are a job seeker, an employed professional or someone ready to be a leader in their community. Through first-in-class partnerships, the nonprofit offers outcome-driven programs to ensure women are getting hired, being promoted, receiving well-earned raises, networking with other professional women, and gaining control of their finances.

Maricopa Community College

Maricopa Community Colleges (MCC) has partnered with Dress for Success Phoenix to bring you fast-track certificate programs that quickly prepare you to start a career in an in-demand field.

Coconino Community College

WFSA is excited about a partnership with Coconino Community College beginning this winter of 2023 to provide wrap-around services and supports directly to single moms as students on campus and in rural spaces throughout Northern Arizona.

The Women’s Foundation for the State of Arizona is connecting single mothers to high-demand one-year certificate programs in fields that pay a livable wage, getting their families on a new path to self-sufficiency.

Learn More

Southern ArizonaPima County
Emily Wilson, Pathways Program Manager at (520) 302-4364‬ or 
I-Best Program Advisor at Pima Community College at (520) 206-7180 or

Central Arizona – Maricopa and Yavapai Counties
Dress for Success Phoenix at (602) 489-7397 or

Northern Arizona – Coconino County
Coconino Community College – (928) 226-4356

Pathways for Single Moms Statewide Expansion
Questions: Contact Joanna Marroquin, Director of Pilot Programs at (520) 849-6095 or