The Arkansas Single Parent Scholarship Fund held Part 3 of their Budget Basics Program on Saturday in partnership with Cindy Jones (Regions Bank), Joy West (Jackson County Extension Office), and St. Paul’s Episcopal Church.

The workshop completed a three-part series in financial planning designed to help single parents develop budgets, increase savings, understand credit debt management, and avoid identity theft.

Cindy Jones of Regions Bank presented an intensive program focusing on identity theft, credit management, and fraud. Recipients learned the importance of maintaining credit scores, protecting their identity information, and the need to stay vigilant to any changes or unusual charges that could indicate their identity has been compromised.

Joy West with the Jackson County Extension Office completed the workshop by helping the recipients plan cost effective meals that were nutritional and easy to make. Each recipient was able to sample a mushroom chicken dish prepared in a crock pot and learn how to make similar meals that maximize savings.

Thanks to a grant from Entergy Corporation, the Arkansas Single Parent Scholarship Fund was able to provide each attendee with a binder for their paperwork and a Hamilton Beach Slow Cooker.

Workshop participants praised the Budget Basics Series. “I really enjoyed this program,” said Tiffany Traw, an attendee and scholarship recipient. “It has helped open my eyes about some of the details surrounding student loans and credit cards. I was happy that my kids were here to hear about the fraud and identity theft part.

Thank you so much for taking the time to present this to us.” Marjorie Harris, another single parent, called the workshop helpful and exciting. “I’m looking forward to more in the future. Thank you to everyone for sponsoring this.”

Arkansas Single Parent Scholarship Fund for Jackson County has been active since 1997 awarding more than $211,415.00 to over 413 recipients. Scholarships are awarded to single parents who are working toward higher education degrees to provide a better life for their families. If you are a single parent in school or interested in enrolling, visit www.aspsf.org for information on eligibility criteria and how to apply. To learn more about becoming a volunteer or donating to the Arkansas Single Parent Scholarship Fund, visit aspsf.org/get-involved