What We Do

WANDA Silicon Valley is a nonprofit program for low-income single moms in San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties, empowering them with knowledge, skills and financial assets to develop and achieve economic self-sufficiency.

WANDA’s Program Includes:

Education

Hands-on training that helps single moms better manage their finances, build assets, advance their careers and work toward their goals.

Equity

Matched savings accounts that are invested in an asset, creating opportunity and greater stability for WANDA moms and their families.

Empowerment

Mentoring and networking opportunities within WANDA’s large network of supporters and partners.

About WANDA program participants

When they begin our program, participants’ incomes fall at or below 60% of Area Median Income (AMI) and possess assets less than than approximately $15,000. The average WANDA mom has an annual salary of $28,000, significantly below 60% AMI (just under $60,000 for a household of two in San Mateo County and $54,000 in Santa Clara County).

“I never…thought it would be possible for a single mom with two children
in this market in these times…but here I am, a homeowner.”

Sandra Gomez

2011 WANDA graduate

Why Single Moms?

Roughly one quarter of the children in the U.S. – about 18 million children – are being raised by single mothers. Of these households, 70% – or 12.6 million children – are considered to be poor or low income.

In the Silicon Valley, with our notoriously high cost of living, making ends meet can be especially difficult for families headed by a single parent. A family of four in San Mateo County with an annual income of $105,000 is considered low-income. In Santa Clara County, this figure is just under $85,000. Add to this the fact that single low-income moms are more likely to be less educated and work in low-paying jobs with few to no benefits. Recognizing this dire reality, WANDA’s founders determined that increasing the financial self-sufficiency of single mothers was of critical importance for their community. Economic stability and savings for the future can increase the chances for the children of single mother households to have better educations, better health and an opportunity to contribute positively to society. The cycle of intergenerational poverty can be broken, one single mother at a time.

Million

The number of single mother households today in the U.S.

The poverty rate for single moms has increased from 33% to 39% in the last decade.