Eduardo J. Padrón
Office of the President
300 N.E. Second Avenue
Miami, Florida 33132-2297
Message From the President
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
The Single Stop Advantage
Several months ago, I announced to the College community that MDC had established an important partnership with Single Stop USA, a non-profit anti-poverty organization that has focused its efforts on community college students. Together, as you’ll read below, MDC and Single Stop are supporting students’ efforts to complete their education.
With a grant from the Kresge Foundation, we opened MDC Single Stop centers on the North and Wolfson campuses to provide students a unique range of financial and personal support. Since these centers opened in October 2010, they have demonstrated dramatic results on behalf of students. More than 2,100 students and/or family members have received the following services:
- Eligibility screening and application filing for federal and state benefits, including food stamps, children’s health care, Medicaid and more
- Free tax preparation assistance or filing
- Free financial counseling and legal counseling
MDC Single Stop coordinators, with the help of a unique benefits software, are able to identify student and family eligibility for benefits in a 15-minute interview. We are able, in essence, to provide students with expanded financial aid to stay in college and complete their degrees. Here are the remarkable results to date:
- 1,251 students screened for federal and state benefits supplying food stamps, children’s health care and Medicaid benefits
- 922 tax returns filed; total refunds: $522,870; average return: $1,387
- Earned income tax credits (EITC) and child care tax credits: $215,000, or about $1,000 on average
Just three MDC Single Stop coordinators and two AmeriCorps VISTA members have made all of this possible. They have facilitated more than 100 classroom presentations, created accounts on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Wordpress, not to mention gathering 45 service-learning volunteers to assist with the tax program. You can also visit the Single Stop webpage at http://www.mdc.edu/main/singlestop/.
With additional support from the White House Social Innovation Fund, we will be adding staff in the coming months, while the initial grant from Kresge will allow us to add a third campus in the fall.
Great thanks to the entire MDC Single Stop team for a job well done. You are changing lives through your efforts.