605-348-6086 | 529 Kansas City St. Suite 100, Rapid City, SD 57701 css@cssrapidcity.com

Applications Open from September 15th – October 29th, 2021


The Uplifting Parents Program (Program UP) was created to empower single parent families by providing resources to support their advancement in education. The goal is to assist lower-income single parents to acquire the education needed to become financially sustainable, and thus provide stability and opportunity for their children. Catholic Social Services (CSS) works with over thirty coalition partner agencies in the community to develop the program.

Program Components

  • Scholarship funds/stipends
  • Program evaluation
  • Mentoring & support services
  • Parenting classes
  • Financial counseling & classes
  • Group activities
  • PEER UP Advisory Council

Eligibility Criteria

  • Single parent seeking advancement in higher education
  • Degree completion in 6-24 months
  • Currently parenting or expecting
  • Must be referred by coalition partners and fill out an application
  • Must be self-motivated and interested in strengthening themselves and family
  • Must be able to travel to Rapid City for meetings and classes
  • Participant must demonstrate a history of stability and potential to follow through with program requirements
  • Not presently struggling with addiction or substance abuse
  • Preference given to lower income participants
  • May be male or female
  • All religious affiliations/denominations welcome

How to Apply

All applicants must be referred into the UP program by one of our community partners. Click on the “Meet Our Coalition Partners” button on the right side of this page to see a list of our partners. If you’re already a current student, it’s likely that your academic advisor, counselor, or success coach knows about our program and can refer you in! If you’re still having trouble finding someone who can refer you, please contact us at 605-348-6086 and ask for an UP staff member. We will get you connected to one of our partners.

Notre Dame’s Lab for Economic Opportunity Partnership

Notre Dame’s Wilson Sheehan Lab for Economic Opportunities (LEO) is implementing a randomized control study on Program UP. The purpose of this research is to: 1) Create evidence based results that could be used to inform policy makers, and 2) Create a standardized process so the program can be replicated in other locations. There are more applicants to Program UP than the program can serve, and we want everyone eligible to have a fair chance of being part of the program, so a lottery will be conducted to determine which eligible applicants receive Program UP services. Those not chosen for a spot in Program UP will receive referrals to other community agencies.  For more information about LEO please visit their website at: https://leo.nd.edu/

Vucurevich Foundation Partnership

The John T. Vucurevich Foundation (JTVF) has partnered with Catholic Social Services to provide additional funding for the Uplifting Parents Program. The Uplifting Parents Program’s approach with single parents and their children is a great example of the JTVF cradle to career continuum of success funding strategy. Their generous contribution has helped the significant expansion and success of Program UP!

Uplifting Parents Program Mentors

Click here to meet our mentors! 

Uplifting Parents Program on Real Presence Radio

CSS staffers talked about the Uplifting Parents Program on Real Presence Radio. You can find the podcast here – Jan 30 Hr.1: https://yourcatholicradiostation.com/real-presence-live-podcasts