Antipoverty Group Works With Community Colleges to Graduate More Students

Antipoverty Group Works With Community Colleges to Graduate More Students 1

Gaston De Cardenas for The Chronicle

Mercy Arenas, a project coordinator for the antipoverty group Single Stop USA, meets with a student at the North Campus of Miami Dade College to discuss benefits for which she may be eligible.

Enlarge Image
close Antipoverty Group Works With Community Colleges to Graduate More Students 1

Gaston De Cardenas for The Chronicle

Mercy Arenas, a project coordinator for the antipoverty group Single Stop USA, meets with a student at the North Campus of Miami Dade College to discuss benefits for which she may be eligible.

Mercy Arenas sits with a student in her cramped office on the North Campus of Miami Dade College.

The student, Rose Zephir, 23, a soft-spoken Haitian immigrant, has come for help. Sensing her shyness, Ms. Arenas gently peppers her with questions. "Do you live alone or with family?" "Do you have children?" "Do you work?" "How much money do you earn?"

Ms. Arenas is not a financial-aid officer but a project coordinator for the campus's branch of Single Stop USA, a New York-based