When Jaemellah Kemp was about to send her child to kindergarten, she didn’t have money to pay for food and school supplies.
With the help of family and friends, she was able to obtain the necessary supplies — but, she said, it was then that God put a vision on her heart, one in which she was helping other single parent families.
Kemp sat on the vision for two years because she didn’t think she could do it, but in February 2012, she launched an organization called It Takes Two, Inc., out of Gambrills, Maryland.
It offers “tools for success” micro-scholarships to pay for school supplies, uniforms, books, academic and sports registration fees.
“This is very personal for me. As a single parent, I know the struggles,” she said.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the organization added different award levels that include laptops, internet and tutoring.
Unlike many programs, it provides supplies throughout the school year. It supports children from fourth grade to college.
“The scholarship allows us to become a part of their family,” Kemp said. “We don’t want to just give you the scholarship, we want to be an extension and become a part of their village.”
This year, scholarship awards exceeded $10,000.
In addition to the scholarships, It Takes Two offers the Positioned for Greatness Youth Program. It focuses on six pillars: anti-bullying; college and career readiness; entrepreneurship; leadership; community service; and financial literacy.
It is a nine-month program where students attend online sessions because of COVID-19 and engage in community service activities. It is aimed at children who are in grades five through 12.
To find out more about their scholarships and programs, go to ittakestwoinc.org.
This is part of WTOP’s continuing coverage of people making a difference in our community authored by Stephanie Gaines-Bryant. You can read more of that coverage by clicking here.