Eduardo R., a current resident at the Allentown Rescue Mission, enrolled at Lehigh Carbon Community College this semester and began classes toward his bachelor’s degree with the help of the Mission’s scholarship program. The scholarship money, donated by Glasbern and an anonymous benefactor, has been earmarked for education to help homeless men become more employable.
All graduates of the Allentown Rescue Mission’s Transformation Program are eligible to participate in the scholarship program to advance their careers through higher education or vocational training. Participants are responsible for a small percentage of the expense to ensure their commitment to the program and the remaining cost is paid through the scholarship fund. Students accumulate their portion of the tuition by working for the Clean Team Workforce or an outside company.
“Many men who are homeless struggle with believing there is a way to get back on their feet. This scholarship is a much-needed asset for our men to obtain an education that is critical for their long-term development and their ability to provide for themselves and their families”, stated Mark Faucette, Emergency Shelter Supervisor and Transformation Program Associate at the Allentown Rescue Mission.
Eduardo came to the Allentown Rescue Mission after the pandemic forced him to permanently close the painting company he started not long before COVID emerged. At the same time, family struggles left his grandmother in need of financial assistance. With his savings depleted and the opportunity to work for himself shut down, Eduardo fell into a depression. The Allentown Rescue Mission helped him get back on his feet and offered Eduardo a path to achieve his degree.
Eduardo is enrolled in classes at Lehigh Carbon Community College while working for the Clean Team Workforce and living at the shelter. He is currently taking four online classes and one at LCCC’s Donely Center, a satellite campus within walking distance of the Mission. The Allentown Rescue Mission provides him with a laptop to use for online classes and homework.
When asked why he wanted to take advantage of the scholarship program, Eduardo said, “I realized I’m not as young as I used to be and I wanted something different for myself. I am so thankful for this opportunity.”