Education, Economic Opportunity

Geography: United States

Founded: 1996


1905 San Pablo Avenue
Oakland, CA 94612


LIFETIME is a nonprofit organization created by student mothers at the University of California Berkeley who completed college degrees while raising their families on welfare, and who are committed to helping other do the same.

LIFETIME's mission is to empower low-income parents to determine, pursue and achieve their goals for education, employment and economic security. Our goal is to help low-income parents enroll in, continue and successfully complete higher education and training — a long-term investment in poor families with lasting results:

  • Upon earning a college degree, 90 percent of parents receiving welfare get jobs earning enough to exit the welfare rolls.
  • A year later, 90 percent are still employed, earning average wages of $25,000 per year.
  • Up to 11 percent earn over $30,000 per year.
  • 23 percent go on to get graduate degrees.

By contrast, less than 50 percent of parents who complete work-first programs get jobs. Average wages are only $6.64 an hour and a year later, half are unemployed and back on welfare.

Higher education is thus a critical resource that enables low-income parents to become educated, employed and economically secure.

Programs and Services

If you're a low-income student with children LIFETIME can help you.

  • Learn money management skills and receive $4,000 for school expenses through our Individual Development Education Account (IDEA) Program.
  • Know your rights to education under CalWORKs.
  • Learn about scholarships and how you can receive more student financial aid.
  • Earn academic credit towards your college degree through internships in community organizing, policy development and program administration.
  • Learn education and career strategies to go from welfare to well-paid, career-path employment.
  • Get important career experience through college work study positions available on an on-going basis at LIFETIME.
  • Connect with other student-parents and their supporters working for campus, county, state and federal policies that foster education, training and family economic security.
  • Get information, advice and support from peer advocates who are available to help you deal with the welfare department and stay in school.