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Clement awarded Jefferson County Single Parent Scholarship

UA Little Rock first-generation student and single mom Erin Clement with her son Ehren. Photo by Ben Krain.
UA Little Rock first-generation student and single mom Erin Clement with her son Ehren. Photo by Ben Krain.

Erin Clement, a recent graduate of UA Little Rock from Pine Bluff, received a 2020 scholarship from the Jefferson County Single Parent Scholarship Fund. 

The $750 scholarship was essential in helping with Clement’s final semester for her undergraduate degree. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies in December 2020 and plans to begin the Master of Social Work program this fall.

“The Jefferson County Single Parent Scholarship Fund is incredible,” Clement said. “They are very kind people. From the first time I applied, I always felt like I was in good hands with them. Single parent scholarships in themselves are essential and tremendously helpful. It not only helps the parent and child, but also helps the economy. It helps us attend school and contribute to the economy after we graduate and start working.” 

Scholarships were awarded based on academics, financial need, recommendation letters, essay quality, and community service. These awards were made possible by grants from the Arkansas Department of Higher Education and the Arkansas Single Parent Scholarship Fund. Awards were also supported in part by donations from Relyance Bank, Simmons Bank, Mayor Shirley Washington, and the First Trinity Church of God in Christ. 

Clement is the first person in her family to earn a college degree. She was raised by a single mother who taught her the value of education.

“My mother instilled in me a desire to go to school and get an education,” Clement said. “She told me that no one can take your education away from you. It’s an honor to be the first college graduate in my family, and it’s an honor to set an example for my son. He will see that his mom got a college degree, and he will see that he can too.”

As a single parent, Clement’s inspiration to complete her degree is to provide a better future for her 4-year-old son, Ehren.

“Since I recently graduated with my bachelor’s degree, I told him that I would get a master’s degree and that there are more degrees after that,” Clement said. “He is very curious. He said, ‘Mommy, I want to get a doctor {doctorate} degree.’ Every chance, I try to include him in my education.”