MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Nearly 70% of children in the Midsouth are raised in single parent homes.
Around 55% are being brought up by single mothers, a number that leads the nation.
One organization led by a once single mother, herself, is helping other single moms navigate the challenges and a new podcast will reach even more.
Clarrisa Joi had it all.
Two degrees in technology, a successful career at a Fortune 500 Company, a husband and daughter until she found herself a single mother.
"I wore the mask going into work everyday because in a largely male dominated environment I wasn't comfortable with other people knowing I was a single mom. In fact, I still wore my wedding ring," said Joi.
It was the image Joi felt she had to maintain because on the other side was the stigma the words "single mom" carry.
50% OF SINGLE MOMS HAVE NEVER BEEN MARRIED
30% ARE DIVORCED AND NOW SINGLE MOMS
20% ARE WIDOWED OR SEPARATED
Joi was among the 30% of single moms when she and her ex-husband divorced.
"Things that you used to do you can't do anymore. You have to find a different way to really maneuver," said Joi.
She says that transition alone is a huge hurdle to clear.
"The emotional side was very challenging for me. I'm trying wrap my arms around caring for this young one, my daughter was 15 months old at the time I became a single mom," said Joi.
There's disappointment about finding oneself a single mother, so Joi created Rise Up Single Mom, Inc. to inspire and encourage.
"Just navigating life. all of that is very challenging. You feel alone, you feel isolated. Sometimes you feel like you're the only person in the world going through what you're going through and that's just not the case," said Joi.
The organization created an necessary outlet for single mothers.
Rise Up Single Moms, a new podcast on the Kudzukian Network makes way for an extension of that platform capable of national and global reach.
"The moms wanted a way to connect on a larger platform and this is how the platform of the podcast was truly birthed," said Joi.
"There's also a level of shame and embarrassment that society puts on the label of being a single mom," said Joi.
Joie get gratification from seeing the delight moms get from being apart of the Rise Up Single Moms community as she helps them walk in their light.
"So this podcast, I just know it is going to be dynamic," said Joi.