It has been an incredible past week here at Springboard To Opportunities.
Last week, we hosted our annual Night of Storytelling. Four of our Magnolia Mother’s Trust moms, Shaquille, Yamiracle, Anquoindria, and Sequaya, bravely shared a piece of their story with all of us in the audience.
They were beautiful stories of their journeys with motherhood, finding independence and agency, and dreaming of creating better futures for their children. They spoke of the ways that receiving the funds from MMT changed their lives, but even more importantly, they talked about the experiences and opportunities that had changed them.
They were able to be the mothers that they had always wanted to be – spending more time with their children, celebrating birthdays, and enrolling children in extracurricular activities. They built community with other people in the program and saw they were not alone. Their children grew in their confidence and social skills as they played on sports teams or visited museums and other parts of the country for the first time.
At the event, we also officially released our Magnolia Mother’s Trust Alumni Study. This study engaged with mothers from the first three cohorts of The Magnolia Mother’s Trust and their children. While we have always documented and shared the experiences of mothers as they took part in the 12 months of the program, we also wanted to understand the lasting changes that continued beyond that year for both the mothers and their children.
And our alumni report shows that MMT had a lasting positive impact on parenting efficacy, parent-child relationships, and children’s mental health, just like we heard our storytellers shared last week.
When most people talk about guaranteed income, they are only interested in hearing about economic markers of success. And while these are important and a part of our evaluations, too, we also know that the intrapersonal gains of programs like MMT, ones that center trust and voices of participants, are just as significant – especially for our mothers whose stories and experiences are often marginalized or dismissed.
Both an executive summary and the full report are below, and we hope you’ll take some time to read them. We would like to thank the amazing team at Social Insights Research who once again served as our evaluation partners and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation for believing in this work and funding the evaluation.