Atlanta Housing is committed to putting people first and creating opportunities for individuals, families, and children to thrive. Recently, we announced the launch of our ACCESS and Women in Technology (WIT) partnership that will enable five AH-assisted single mothers in Atlanta to enroll in Emory University’s Cyber Security Certification program.

The partnership is the outcome of collaboration between Atlanta Housing Chief Information Officer Brian Benn and Women in Technology CEO Penny Collins, who both understood the transformative impact that could be made if this dynamic opportunity was available to underserved communities.

“We want to make sure we’re harnessing technology to help elevate our residents by leveling the playing field through digital literacy.  This effort aligns with our commitment to not only provide quality affordable housing but also to help our residents thrive,” says Benn. “Our ACCESS program has leveraged several outstanding relationships to offer digital opportunities to our residents. Women in Technology has really stepped up to the plate to help serve our families.”

In the United Sates, there are 11 million single parent households with nearly 80 percent being headed by single mothers, and Georgia is the 3rd highest ranked state with the most single mothers. Statistically, families headed by single mothers are among the poorest households with more than a third living in poverty. Through the WIT Single Mother’s Cybersecurity Certificate program, participants can pursue a financially sustaining career in science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (STEAM) and improve the quality of their lives and the lives of their children. According to market research, there are more than 400,000 cyber jobs available in the U.S. with entry-level positions starting at approximately $50k to $117k per year for IT Security.

The inaugural cohort of the ACCESS and WIT collaboration will consist of five Atlanta Housing residents, with one additional resident set to matriculate in the spring session of Emory University’s Cyber Security Certification classes. Cohort members will also receive professional development and career planning including financial planning, assistance with resume writing and mock interviews, and job placement.

With a shared understanding of the barriers to continued education that single mothers can often face, the program includes hot meals and STEAM training for the children of cohort participants throughout the program’s duration. The program has been valued at $23K per participant and will last 17 weeks.

Visit HERE to learn how this program elevates single mothers interested in STEAM.