Pell City First UMC has begun an exciting new ministry partnership with Jefferson State Community College and Head Start. In late February, classes began for Pharmacy Technician at the Pell City campus of Jeff State. The program is an effort to minister to St. Clair County area single mothers with children enrolled in Head Start or Day Care and is funded by grants.
Pell City First provides hot lunches to these students during their classes, and works in partnership with Northside Associates to provide free drug screening. When the women graduate, they will be eligible for National Certification as a Pharmacy Technician.
For the past nine months, Pell City First UMC, Jeff State and Head Start have been meeting and making presentations to The Women’s Fund of Greater Birmingham in hopes of a second grant that would allow us to manage this program in in the Fall. The partners recently learned that they won the grant, and will receive $25,000 in seed money.
The Women's Fund of Greater Birmingham grants were awarded to community partnerships that address poverty among local women and children. To apply for the grant, the organizations completed the required nine-month Collaboration Institute, a program designed by The Women's Fund that provided the space, time and resources for them to meet and work on their proposed projects. Jeanne Jackson, president of The Women's Fund, said all of the teams should be proud of their work.
"The pharmacy technician training program will educate mothers while simultaneously educating their children," said LaToya Orr, executive director of St. Clair Head Start. The program will have space for 16 single mothers.