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Activism project spreading awareness

According to the National Center for Health Statistics, in 2019, the most up-to-date data available, there were 2,015,603 marriages. Of that number, 746,971 couples in 45 states and in D.C. got divorced.  

Pitt State University student Jacob Hastings, senior in construction management, has created a petition in hopes of bringing awareness to a women’s studies project he’s undergoing.  

The project is focused on the effects of single parenting on the psychological development of children.  

“I think it’s very important because of how devastating the effects of divorce and single parenting can be on our developing children,” Hastings said. “I think more awareness is crucial for the future of America.”  

Though it is for a school project, Hastings has a more personal connection to the topic at hand, having experienced it as a child.  

“I chose to write about divorce and single parenting because my parents got divorced when I was young, and I personally felt the effects and hardships of being raised by a single parent,” Hastings said.   

According to the American Psychological Association, 40 to 50 percent of all married couples in the United States get divorce. When Hastings started the project for a women’s studies course, this topic stood out to him the most.  

“We were given a list of topics to do our research on, and I instantly knew this was the topic for me,” Hastings said.  

One other factor in deciding to focus his activism project on the effect of divorce and single parenting on childrens’ development was that it is not a commonly talked about topic.  

“I realized there wasn’t much awareness about how single parenting can effect developing children,” Hastings said. “We never talked about it in school so I thought it would be a good subject to research.”  

Hastings is using the tools at his disposal to his advantage such as change.org which allows the creation of petitions and social media sites.  

“I have seen the recent success of petitions, especially with the incorporation of social media, so I knew it would be a good outlet to reach as many people as possible,” Hastings said.  

Spreading awareness and encouraging people to educate themselves the effect of divorce on children is one of Hastings goals.  

“Of course, I would love to reach as many people as possible,” Hastings said. “I think I have made an impact in my community. The ultimate goal would be to somehow lower the growing rate of divorce in the country but that can be a very tricky task to accomplish.”  

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