A nonprofit based in Austin, which has a presence in Oak Park, and that has helped young mothers for more than 35 years, is up for a big-time grant. 

New Moms is one of 15 finalists for The Renewal Awards, a $20,000 grant from The Atlantic magazine and Allstate, that will be awarded to five organizations to celebrate innovative nonprofits across the nation.

“It is such an honor to be counted as one of the 15,” said Jenna Hania, director of development and communications for New Moms.

“We are really excited to be given this platform to share about the work that we are doing (to) highlight the importance of investing in moms and children so we can make sure family units are growing in a strong way.”

The public can vote online until 8 p.m. on March 1. New Moms is one of two Chicago groups on the finalist list; the other is the Healthy Schools Campaign. There were 9,300 nominations nationally and 680 in Illinois. To vote, visit: https://therenewalawards.theatlantic.com/.

Hania said when she first started at New Moms four years ago, the program served about 400 children and mothers — none older than 24 years of age — each year. That number has since doubled.

New Moms gives participants the foundational skills that will help them in their family and professional lives. “Every mother who comes into the program is categorized as living in extreme poverty; 98 percent of all mothers coming into the program are 200 percent below the federal poverty line.”

Max Harris DAmato

Austin Talks 

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