MCC and Family Involvement Center launch a new program bolstering support for families in crisis while building careers 

MESA, Arizona — Aug. 28, 2020 — Family Involvement Center (FIC) and the Mesa Community College Social Work Program collaborate to provide education, training and careers for parents with life experiences interacting with child-serving systems. The program places an emphasis on parents who are in recovery from opioid use or addiction.

The Parent Peer Support Social Work Scholarship Stipend Program, created as part of a four-year grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), is designed specifically to develop careers for individuals based on their life experiences so they may help others dealing with similar circumstances.

The program provides participants a year of Live Online social work courses at Mesa Community College (MCC), a computer to access classes and a monthly stipend to cover the cost of internet service and other living expenses. After completing the first year of classes, which includes work experience through an internship at FIC, participants are eligible to apply for a paid position in an FIC apprenticeship program, continuing education guidance and job placement assistance.

“This is a way for parents who have been involved with child-serving systems to use their lived experiences to help other families in difficult situations,” said Jane Kallal, FIC executive director. “The program also provides these parents with the opportunity to build a career which will enable them to support and strengthen their own families.”

Ideal program participants are parents who have lived experiences with child serving systems such as behavioral health, child welfare, and juvenile justice.

Social work is the nation's No. 1 helping profession and the MCC Social Work Program is the top contributor of quality social work students to schools of social work in Arizona.

"Parents who have overcome significant adversity and challenge in their own life have so much to offer other parents as a Parent Peer Support Specialist and of course, we hope they will continue their education here at MCC to join us in the profession of social work,” said Dori DiPietro, director of the MCC Social Work Program. “This grant is a wonderful opportunity to change so many lives for the better and will have a ripple effect of goodness in our community.”

Visit\social-work to learn more and apply to participate in this innovative, community-driven, career building opportunity.

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Media contacts:
Family Involvement Center: Arianna Palumbo,, 602-694-5661
Mesa Community College: Dawn Zimmer,, 480-461-7892

The Family Involvement Center is a nearly 20-year-old nonprofit, family-run organization that connects families and individuals going through hard times with helpful resources. Started by Jane Kallal in the early 2000s, Family Involvement Center is a place where family voice is central in receiving services. Additional information is available at

Mesa Community College is nationally recognized as an Aspen Prize Top 150 U.S. Community College and is known for service learning, career and technical programs, civic engagement and innovative approaches to education. The college has served as a resource for career readiness, transfer education, workforce development and lifelong learning throughout its 50-year history. Host to more than 30,000 students annually, MCC offers degree and certificate programs online, and at its two campuses and additional locations. Through Guided Pathways with Integrated Support Services, MCC is transforming the ways it champions student success, college completion, university transfer and career attainment or advancement. MCC is a Hispanic Serving Institution and more than 50% of its students are the first in their family to attend college. Its American Indian Institute serves 22 federally recognized Arizona tribes and more than 30 out-of-state tribes. The diverse student body includes more than 400 international students representing over 60 countries. Award-winning faculty are dedicated to student success, providing the education and training that empowers MCC students to successfully compete in the workforce. Located in the East Valley of Phoenix, Arizona, MCC is one of 10 colleges in the Maricopa County Community College District. Visit to learn more.

MCC is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC),

The Maricopa County Community College District (MCCCD) is an EEO/AA institution and an equal opportunity employer of protected veterans and individuals with disabilities. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, or national origin. A lack of English language skills will not be a barrier to admission and participation in the career and technical education programs of the District. MCCCD does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability or age in its programs or activities. For Title IX/504 concerns, call the following number to reach the appointed coordinator: (480) 731-8499. For additional information, as well as a listing of all coordinators within the Maricopa College system, visit

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Publication Date: 
Friday, August 28, 2020