This single mom from Indiana who did not have it easy when she raised her son is now doing her part to help other single mothers as their sons begin transitioning into adulthood. In a conversation with PEOPLE, Dionne Brown told that she founded the nonprofit organization Single Parent Connection Inc. in 2018, as a way to help other single parents as they raised their children.
Brown said, ‘We are an organization that wants single parents to know that they don’t have to do life alone.’
“Our mission is to improve self-sufficiency and strengthen dingle-parent families through education. Empowerment and support” said Brown. As a part of that mission, Brown decided to launch a Boys to Men workshop series based on her experiences raising her son, Jonathan, now 18. “As a single mother who was raising a young man, I had a hard time when it came to teaching my son what he needs to know as he transitions into adulthood,” Brown recalls. “I remember searching YouTube trying to find videos so that I could teach him how to tie a necktie because this is something that as a woman I never needed to know.”
The workshop, which is scheduled to be held each week in June, is designed for boys between the ages of 12-18. Each session will focus on specific skills that Brown believes are traditionally passed down from father to sons such as properly fastening a tie and shaving. Other basic skills will also be taught including fishing, electrical and plumbing safety, preparing for a job interview, and understanding self-respect and respect for others.
To get the workshops off the ground and running, Brown says her organization partnered with the Men’s Ministry of the Blended Church in Indianapolis. Brown says, so far, they have had about 30 young men enrol in the program. Aside from the Boys to Men program, Brown says her organization also offers several resources for single parents, from education scholarships to money management workshops.
“We have a toiletry and necessity assistance program which helps families who don’t have enough to provide for their basic needs,” she notes. “I know many people may not think this program is important, but when a single parent shared with me that she could not afford something as simple as bath tissue, I knew there was a need for it.” As she continues to leave her mark, Brown hopes other parents will become inspired by her story and start making a difference in their respective communities.