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Anthony Barr Announces Grant to U of M to Support Single-Parent Students 

MINNEAPOLIS — Vikings linebacker Anthony Barr on Tuesday announced a gift from his Raise the Barr foundation to support research at the University of Minnesota’s Student Parent HELP Center (SPHC). 

Barr established Raise the Barr in 2016 to help break the cycle of poverty for single-parent families by providing access to post-secondary education. The gift from Raise the Barr will fund a new research initiative to evaluate SPHC’s programming and its impact on student parents’ successful graduation.

The Student Parent HELP Center opened in 1967 and is one of the oldest programs of its kind in the United States. SPHC has evolved into a model program providing comprehensive services to post-secondary students with children. 

The SPHC research findings will be shared nationally to strengthen student parent services in higher education across the country. 

“The goal is to learn important lessons from the work at SPHC that will guide other colleges on how to build successful programs for student parents,” said Barr, a four-time Pro Bowl selection who grew up in a single-parent household.

Susan Warfield, the SPHC Program Director, and a child and family social worker said the program is “very grateful to Anthony and Raise the Barr for giving us this opportunity.” 

“We have been informally guiding startup student parent programs around the country for many years, but this research will give us hard data to share and improve programs for single parents on college campuses everywhere,” Warfield said.

Raise the Barr works with charity partners in California and Minnesota to provide college tuition, childcare tuition, emergency grants, and other supportive services to single parents and their families. Raise the Barr will use the results from the SPHC research to improve educational outcomes for single-parent families in California and Minnesota through existing partnerships and the development of new initiatives.

Raise the Barr subscribes to the two-generational approach to breaking the cycle of poverty. As defined by Ascend at the Aspen Institute, the two-generation approach “focuses on creating opportunities for and addressing needs of both children and the adults in their lives together.”

Raise the Barr is part of the Ascend Network, a national network of practitioners, policymakers, philanthropic leaders and researchers advancing two-generation approaches for whole-family outcomes.

About Raise the Barr Foundation (RaisetheBarr.org)

Raise the Barr is committed to breaking the cycle of poverty by transforming single-parent families through post-secondary education.

Anthony Barr, raised by a single mother, established Raise the Barr in 2016 to help break the cycle of poverty for other single-parent families through access to post-secondary education. Raise the Barr awards tuition and childcare scholarships and distributes emergency grants to single-parent undergraduates in California and Minnesota.

As of 2011-12, more than 15 percent of all undergraduate students were single parents.

Raise the Barr collaborates with other charitable organizations and corporate partners to ensure single-parent families gain access to a variety of comprehensive community resources. We work together to remove the obstacles to higher education for single parents by providing access to such services as affordable safe housing, empowerment and financial literacy training, and job placement and coaching. 

We believe in a two-generational holistic approach to transforming the lives of single parents and their families.

Raise the Barr is a sponsored project of Driving Force Group (drivingforcegroup.org).

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