Raising the Bar 2021 Fashion & Football Fundraising


Thursday’s event, which was hosted by the local Style and Fashion Creative Director Grant whittaker, celebrated Raise the Barr’s five-year mission to help single parents continue their education and raised additional funds to continue the foundation’s important work.

Since Anthony and Lori co-founded Raise the Barr in 2016, the association has donated over $ 410,000 in scholarships and emergency grants.

Lori, who became a single mother at the age of 19 and raised Anthony while attending school, noted the high level of need in Minnesota.

According to the Institute for Women’s Policy and Research, Lori noted, about 30,000 single mothers attend college in the state of Minnesota. This number represents 23% of all students.

“Single mothers are more likely to be people of color, low income, first generation [students]. They are more likely to leave college with more debt than their non-parental counterparts and, also, take about two years longer to graduate, ”said Lori. “Single mothers who finish school with higher debt are less likely to have access to bank loans, low-interest car loans, and even some jobs.”

Raise the Barr scholarships can be applied towards tuition, used for high quality child care, housing, transportation, basic needs and any areas that “affect a student parent’s ability to persist. “.

“Choosing to improve your life by going to college or working a low-paying job to put your food on your table isn’t really a choice in my book,” Lori said. “If we take a closer look, we as a society are perpetuating poverty by limiting options and making it increasingly difficult to access higher education. We must do better. And Raise the Barr is committed to tackling this problem head-on. “

Since 2016, Raise the Barr has supported 40 single parents – 38 single mothers and two single fathers – towards graduation. Of these, 19 mothers have already graduated.

Event attendees received a virtual message from Aaronica Jackson and her daughter, Reign, located in Minneapolis; and Brenda Coronel and her daughter, Zoey, who live in Los Angeles. They also heard in-person testimony from Maria Canar, mother of two daughters, and Tavia Paredes, Dakota mother-son.

Maria wore a custom designed necklace that all scholars receive as a gift from Continental Diamond.

“‘Believe’ is a very important word to me. It is what allowed me to finish my university studies while raising my children,” said Maria. “Stock markets are our ‘belief’ that has led us to success, and that’s something [for which] I am very grateful to Raise the Barr. Thanks, Lori and Anthony. “

Tavia, a 2019 and 2020 scholar, shared her experience of pursuing her education “a few credits at a time” when Dakota entered elementary school. Because she also worked during the day, she often found herself deciding between bedtime stories with her son or finishing her homework or an evening quiz.

“Needless to say, my grades have suffered at times,” Tavia admitted. “But with the funding of a Raise the Barr scholarship, I have the privilege of now being a full-time student at Metropolitan State University, where my goal is no longer to make a living but to finish. graduating and raising my son. “

Tavia’s GPA increased from 3.0 to 3.6 in one semester after receiving support from Raise the Barr, and through the Metropolitan State, she works as the Outreach Outreach Coordinator. young people in the Twin Cities community.

“I create and run hands-on science and technology activities for children from all walks of life, but with a special focus on children from underrepresented minorities – which is exactly what I was, as a Native American growing up in welfare in Minneapolis. “

Tavia also holds a summer position with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. In December, she will obtain a degree in chemistry, as well as a minor in physics, and is applying for the doctoral programs in water chemistry.

“Raise the Barr is effective; it made me a more attractive candidate and increased my hiring potential, ”said Tavia, who praised the foundation’s two-generation model. “Scholarship assistance can make or break my academic performance, my sanity, and my ability to provide an abundance of support to my incredibly understanding son, Dakota. His emotional and academic growth is more important to me than mine. . “

Thanks to Raise the Barr, three more single mothers will receive scholarships for the 2021 school year:

Monica Blue (Dunwoody College)

Flerida Hernandez (College of Santa Monica)

Adia Singh (College of Minneapolis)

Last week’s Under Review program raised over $ 100,000 in income, including a generous $ 25,000 donation from an anonymous donor, which will allow Anthony and Lori to keep the momentum behind the mission. by Raise the Barr.

A silent auction included items such as a Dalvin Cook helmet and a golf pilot autographed by Harrison Smith. Additionally, Vikings linebacker Eric Kendricks created and signed a custom painting that was included in the Raise the Barr silent auction. The painting sold for $ 2,000 and Kendricks pledged to donate an additional $ 1,000.

Anthony expressed his immense gratitude for the generosity and support of donors in the Twin Cities and across the country.

“I lost my grandfather three years ago and haven’t had a father in my life, so I was raised by a single parent, my mother, and this whole foundation is really built from it. of our history, ”Anthony told attendees. “I think we’re all here because we understand that this life is not just about us. It’s about more than yourself. It’s about helping the next person. It’s really our mission here at. Raise the Barr. “

The 29-year-old acknowledged the “great support system” he had growing up. And he was grateful for the presence of his loved ones at the event, including his grandmother, aunt and Lori’s husband.

“It’s a real family affair. And when I look at you all, I feel like I’m with my family,” Anthony said.

“Everyone cries out there for a good reason, and I always thought I was a weeper because I’m a Pisces, but apparently it’s just in my blood,” he added. laughing. “We’re just crying people out there. If I shed a tear or two, don’t be surprised.”

Anthony said it “felt good” to have so many family members in the room for such a special event.

“I know they are part of this whole situation, and I couldn’t be here without them,” he said. “To have their support and love on a night like this really means a lot.”

As Anthony prepares for the 2021 Viking season, he and Lori will also keep their focus on supporting the Twin Cities community off the pitch.

“Our work comes from the heart. But it is not a hobby and it is not fleeting,” said Lori. “We are here to stay in the State of Minnesota. We are focused on fairness, opportunity, hope and dreams.”

Click here to learn more about Raise the Barr or to donate to help single parents complete their education.

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