Updated: Jan 3, 2020
Hey all! My name is Kyrie Blaney. I am the Founder and Executive Director of Build Mothers, Build the World. We are a new organization serving Albany, and Laramie counties in Wyoming. With that being said I want to take a moment to introduce myself, our organization and how we got started, where we are at now, and our hopes for the future. Thanks for joining us in this magificent journey!
Really, my story begins with becoming pregnant with my son, Harrison, at 22 in my final semester of junior college. I became very sick and nearly didn't graduate with my associates due to hospitalization in Denver. It was only through the flexibility and dedication of my teachers that I was able to do it.
Shortly after my son's birth we went through a very hard period, finding out that due to the economic state of our town, my husband would be losing his job. This resulted in us moving to Laramie, WY. I praise this decision now, because it has led to many great opportunities for my family, but at the time seemed devastating.
I was able to get a full time administrative position at a daycare in town that allowed me to still be with my son daily, which I was so thankful for. However, we soon realized that with the higher cost of living here we weren't really able to make ends meet, and definitely not thrive. With the University so accessible, and the knowledge that a bachelors degree is the proven best way to raise your income, we sent me back to school, and I left my full time job.
I am so blessed in the opportunities I have received as a result. I am currently in my Senior year in marketing and have two part time positions that have benefited my personal and career development. I am currently working as an Ethics Scholar with the Better Business Bureau reviewing nonprofits that are nominees for the Torch Award program, and an Engagement and Revenue Development Intern for the University of Wyoming Alumni Association.
However, even working two part time jobs we needed help paying for two major costs, rent and daycare. In my research I found that these two costs alone typically account for over 50% of a young families expenses each month. 50%!!! We are very fortunate that we had family that could help us with these costs, but I realized that not everyone has that available. I wanted to provide those women with the same opportunities that I was given. Thus, Build Mothers, Build the World was born.
WHERE WE ARE AT NOW
Build Mothers, Build the World was officially incorporated with the state of Wyoming on November 5th of 2019. We have received an EIN number, and as of December 18th received our 501(c)(3) status.
We have already began cultivating relationships with other organizations and community leaders in Albany and Laramie counties. We have had very positive reception from everyone we have met with including CLIMB Wyoming, the Cathedral Home Extended Families program, the Wyoming Women's Foundation and the UW Foundation. We hope to continue to grow and develop these relationships and more.
We have utilized information provided in the Wyoming Women's Foundation Gender Wage Gap and Self-Sufficiency Standard Reports (see below). These have shown us that the need for this program is critical. We see that Albany and Laramie counties have the highest income inadequacy rate in the state. Over half (52%) of households below the Standard have children and for families with young children, and the cost of housing and child care combined typically make up nearly 50% of the family’s budget.
In Wyoming alone, in 2014, 19,845 households were headed by women. In addition, women make up approximately 45% of the Wyoming job force. Even though women play such a critical role in Wyoming's economy there is still a large discrepancy in the wages paid to women versus men. While the difference in earnings between men and women is discouraging, we do see that the wage gap generally decreases with increasing education, indicating the critical role that educational attainment plays in leveling the field for wage equity in Wyoming.
WHERE WE WANT TO BE
The Elevate 307 program will serve young mothers that are attending school at either UW or LCCC. Through this program we will break down the largest barriers to by paying directly for rent or daycare costs. In addition, the women will have monthly leadership development courses as a group, sponsored by the LCCC Workforce and Outreach Development program. This will provide a community of support among the women and also teach skills such as financial management, communication, goal setting, etc.
Build Mothers, Build the World will also work to create lasting community connections, and build our local economies through career placement and development by introducing skilled and educated workers into the job force.
In order to begin this scholarship program beginning in June of 2020, we are initiating our Elevate 307 Giving Campaign January 1, 2020 and will go through the end of March. Through this campaign we hope to raise $10,000 to support the 7 women we will serve through the program this year. Below is our community giving advocate form that you can download and print to support this program. In order to support the Elevate 307 Program donate to our non-designated, or Sponsor a Mother Funds. Thank you!
If you are interested in our program we encourage to inquire on our website or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also find us on Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn. We would love to hear from you!