The secret weapon for single moms: #Code

Single parenting can be challenging, rewarding, overwhelming, and wonderful — sometimes all at once. More often than naught, custodial parenting tends to fall on women who then need to balance care-giving with employment so they can financially support their families. This can be a further challenge when the mother is young, has little formal education or job experience, may be struggling financially, and has limited supports.

What these young women need is to be trained in a high demand career that allowed them to work with a flexible schedule, work remotely, and be compensated fairly. Sound too good to be true?

Welcome to the world of code; a single mother’s secret weapon.

Recently Choices for Youth’s, Momma Moments program held a pilot program in partnership with Ladies Learning Code (LLC) and financially supported by Rotary Northeast. The audacious goal was to teach thirty-one (!!) single mothers and at-risk youth to code their own website in just one day.

It was a full day of instruction led by Juanita Burke, Technical Lead for LLC Newfoundland as she took the class through the fundamentals of HTML (Hypertext Mark-up Language) and CSS (Cascading Style Sheets). These two elements make up the framework commonly seen across the web.

HTML gives websites their structure and CSS makes the design. These two fundamentals are the basic building blocks in creating websites. Thirty–one moms were able in just one day to create their very first webpage. With the planned curriculum available via LLC, these moms can become front-end web developers. The beauty of this opportunity is minimal up front financial investment, flexible schedules that can work around child care, and the option of working from home.

Most web development careers have many options to suit many personalities and personal challenges. Coders can freelance to provide the most flexibility, or could work in a more traditional setting for those who want more structure and social interaction.

In addition to this, the average hourly wage for a front-end web developer -the people who make websites with HTML & CSS like these thirty-one moms — is $55/hr in Canada. Web pages similar to the ones the pilot participants created could fetch a minimum of $1,000 in Canada.

What’s more, the pilot program was a huge hit, in as little as a month training, these participants can be on their way to having successful careers in tech. Canada’s own federal government specifically named LLC as being one of the top priorities for government in teaching kids and women this valuable skill.

While we are just getting started, follow LLC and CFY online as we discover and create new opportunities for these amazing Momma Moments participants. We hope to play a role in helping create healthy families and growing the economy one momma at a time.