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The Metrowest Women’s Fund Donates $71K to Support Single Mother Students at MassBay Community College

Monday, September 12, 2022


Liz Cooper
Rachel Sagan


MassBay Community College President Dr. David Podell (left) and Executive Director of Development Mishawn Davis-Eyene (right) accept a $71,000 donation from MetroWest Women’s Fund Co-Founder Rachel Sagan (middle) to support single mother students at MassBay Community College, August 2022 (Photo/MassBay Community College). MassBay Community College President Dr. David Podell (left) and Executive Director of Development Mishawn Davis-Eyene (right) accept a $71,000 donation from MetroWest Women’s Fund Co-Founder Rachel Sagan (middle) to support single mother students at MassBay Community College, August 2022 (Photo/MassBay Community College).


WELLESLEY HILLS, Mass. (September 12, 2022)The Metrowest Women’s Fund has generously donated $71,000 to MassBay Community College to support students who are single mothers. These funds will provide financial assistance to these students for non-tuition-related emergencies they may encounter while pursuing their studies, including childcare expenses, housing costs, living expenses, and other basic needs. This is the second consecutive year The Metrowest Women’s Fund has supported single mother students for a combined total of $96,000 for the 2021-2022 and 2022-2023 academic years.

“We are delighted to support single mom students at MassBay Community College as they pursue their educational dreams,” Metrowest Women’s Fund Co-Founder Rebecca Parkhill said. “Many single moms can be derailed by expenses such as car repairs, broken computers, or other emergencies. We are thrilled that our community has come together to support these women as they seek to better themselves educationally and support their families.”

“We are extremely grateful for the Metrowest Women’s Fund’s generous donation that will allow our single mother students, who have many responsibilities outside the classroom, to continue their education,” said MassBay President David Podell. “By relieving a sizable portion of their financial stress, the Metrowest Women’s Fund has ensured dozens of our single mom students are able to remain in school and pursue the skills training and educational credentials that lift them and their families into sustainable careers and steady wages. These funds are truly transformational.”

Jennifer, a single mother student at MassBay, describes how the Metrowest Women’s Funds assisted her last year, “In February of 2019 when life as I knew it changed forever, I went from living in a house, engaged, and raising three small children to facing homelessness as a domestic violence survivor and a single parent. At that point, I made the decision to go back to school and obtain an associate degree in paralegal studies.”

Jennifer added, “When the pandemic hit, I found myself struggling financially to keep up with rent, car payments, and my children’s necessities. Last semester my prayers of finding financial help were answered when the Metrowest Women’s Fund’s program provided single mothers like myself with $1,000 to help cover any non-tuition costs. This money helped me to put food on the table, pay for gas to get them to and from school and catch up on overdue bills. I am so grateful to have been granted this money by such an inspiring organization that really acknowledges the hardships that single mothers face while trying to better our lives through education.”

The Metrowest Women’s Fund invests in women and girls in the Massachusetts Metrowest area through education, community building, grantmaking, and strategic partnerships. The Metrowest Women’s Fund grant program focuses on three impact areas: educational opportunities for low-income women and girls, support for the next generation of girls who come from low-income backgrounds to assist them with their needs, and resources for women and girls to keep them safe from domestic violence, senior abuse, sexual assault, and the commercial sex trade.

The Metrowest Women’s Fund was founded by Rebecca Parkhill of Weston, MA and Rachel Sagan of Sudbury, MA, who were driven by a single goal of doing their part to make the community of Metrowest a place where women and girls are supported and have access to the services they need and deserve. The organization assists the 33 towns in Metrowest: Acton, Ashland, Boxborough, Carlisle, Concord, Dedham, Dover, Framingham, Harvard, Holliston, Hopkinton, Hudson, Lexington, Lincoln, Marlborough, Maynard, Medfield, Medway, Milford, Millis, Natick, Needham, Sherborn, Southborough, Stow, Sudbury, Walpole, Waltham, Wayland, Wellesley, Westborough, Weston, and Westwood.

MassBay Community College is the most affordable higher education option in MetroWest Boston, offering a robust portfolio of courses and more than 70 associate degree and certificate programs with flexible day, evening, and weekend classes in Ashland, Framingham, Wellesley Hills, and online. MassBay students receive an unmatched educational value by earning stackable credits that transfer to bachelor’s degree programs, and workforce-ready skills necessary to advance careers in high-demand fields such as health and life sciences, automotive technology, engineering, business, cybersecurity, and the humanities. MassBay’s Associate Degree in Nursing (RN) and Practical Nursing (LPN) programs were both ranked as the #1 Nursing Program in Massachusetts in 2020-2021 by national nursing advocacy organizations, and Since its founding in 1961, MassBay has been accredited by several governing bodies and remains firmly committed to its mission of meeting the needs of the diverse local communities it serves. We value the intrinsic worth of all individuals, collectively in pursuit of inclusiveness and prioritize our work towards achieving equity within our community and beyond.