From: THRIVE: Tool for Health and Resilience in Vulnerable Environments
LIFETIME is a non-profit organization based in Oakland, California that assists single mothers on welfare to obtain higher education and remain off of welfare and out of poverty permanently. Founder and director, Diana Spatz who had completed her BA while raising her daughter on welfare, established LIFETIME in 1996. LIFETIME began as a service-learning class at the University of California at Berkeley that Spatz taught to other student welfare mothers like herself, instructing them of their rights as welfare recipients, and forming support systems for them while they worked toward their degrees. Spatz's momentum grew, and soon her class became LIFETIME, the organization. Parent members participate in political education, leadership development, and advocacy training in order to become effective advocates for the policies that affect their lives.
LIFETIME has accomplished multiple outcomes that are related not only to promoting educational outcomes but also to engaging low-income mothers in political advocacy. Outcomes include: 1) Trained single mothers on welfare as advocates for their educational rights to ensure that they are able to obtain a higher education and remain off of welfare and out of poverty permanently (jobs and local ownership), 2) Provided services to over 400 parents to help them reach their higher education goals (education), 3) Involved these parents in advocating on behalf of policies that affect them under welfare law (participation and willingness to act for the common good). The parents' civic engagement efforts resulted in the changing the welfare policies in all of California's 58 counties, thereby increasing CalWORKs parent transportation support services (getting around), increasing parents' access to education (education), and winning accommodations for learning disabled parents (the place).