Single moms, scholars and Silver Magnolias are the topics of today’s Party Line. All have inspiring stories.

Single Mom Ministries

Former LSU Soccer star Mo Isom shared her story of being raised by a single mom at the Life of a Single Mom Ministries Impact Luncheon May 8 at the Country Club of Louisiana. That wasn’t always Isom’s homelife. Her father committed suicide the end of her freshman soccer season.

“I never thought of her that way,” Isom said of her mom becoming a single mother. “There’s a certain stigma attached to that term — single mom. But my mother became the most beautiful example of a human being. She saved our home, our transportation, her business, my grandmother’s home … she marched.

“She was a woman of perseverance, a woman of hope,” continued Isom, adding that, with help and guidance, single moms can evolve into powerful women “even if there’s a period of crawling before they march.”

Single mothers is one of the fastest growing segments of society, according to ministries founder and former single mom Jennifer Maggio. Last year the organization served 370 single mom in the Baton Rouge area, and 3,000 throughout the U.S. with 1,500 support groups.

“We work through churches because we believe this is the best way to help change the life of a single mom and end the cycle of abuse, poverty, crime and lower education rates,” said Maggio.

Career Compass

At the same time, Career Compass of Louisiana was handing out $150,000 in scholarships from the Boo Grigsby Foundation at its annual Scholarship Awards Luncheon at the Crowne Plaza. The addition of the new 14 scholars brings the total to 60 high school students who were able to pursue a post-secondary education as a result of the foundation’s scholarship program.

Thanking Lane Grigsby and his family on behalf of the scholarship recipients was Jade Theriot, of Morgan City. Career Compass is a nonprofit that provides career and college coaching to high school seniors across Louisiana.

Silver Magnolias

For 10 years, the Women’s Council of Greater Baton Rouge has recognized a group of women “who are committed to helping others and who have made meaningful contributions to our community.” The really neat thing is these women are age 70 or older.

Fêted at the May 9 tea at First United Methodist Church were Beverly H. Aucoin, who oversees the local chapter of the Threads of Love sewing ministry; Janice Anne Carpenter, a volunteer with the Audubon Girl Scouts, American Red Cross, Volunteers of America and Volunteers in Public Schools; Aileen Alana Hendricks, an artist, educator, scholar and community activist; Demetria McJulien, who started the social work program at Southern University and served on the White House Conference on Aging; Sadie Roberts-Joseph, founder/curator of the Odell S. Williams Now & Them African-American History Museum; Mary Ann Polito Sceroler, the first restaurant owner in Tangipahoa Parish to hire African American women; and Willie Mae Williams, educator who counsels families with the Black Family Initiative.

Lois Holden, wife of Mayor Kip Holden, presented the honorees with proclamations and gifts on behalf of her husband. The Silver Magnolia Awards were presented by Karen Vingiello, tea co-chairwoman.

Alicia Murphy was tea chairwoman. Assisting were Maureen Corcoran, Martha Dishongh, Ellie Torres, Karen Groves, Karen Shapiro and President Janel Chapman.

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