My blinking increases as I try to hold back my tears from escaping. I’m staring at the floor as my therapist is looking at me, waiting for me to answer her question. Her voice startles me as she begins to speak again. “Yvette? Are you okay? Tell me what’s been going on in your life.” […]
“Did I register for classes next semester? Did I speak to my advisor? More importantly, will I be able to find a babysitter while I’m taking my classes?” These are among the daily questions that people ask themselves when balancing college and having children.
Balancing school with parenthood can be stressful and time consuming. It is a non-stop job that is filled with surprise challenges and obstacles, like finding a babysitter or addressing an emergency. It takes a strong woman to gather up enough courage to say to her child, “look baby, I love you but Mama needs to get a degree in order to have a better career. That way I can make a better living for you and I!” Speaking of hard working mothers, here are just a few women that are mothers and attend classes at LaGuardia Community College.
Angelie Hernandez is a 28-year-old mother of two children named Joseph and Melanie. Majoring in Liberal Arts, she began taking classes at LaGuardia in 2015.
After becoming homeless, they were placed in a shelter in the Bronx. According to coalitionforthehomeless.org, “The number of adults and children in the family shelter system increased by 14 percent since January 2014 – despite Mayor de Blasio’s efforts to reverse the growing census.” Angelie’s daily schedule was hectic, waking up at 4:30 am and undergoing a long, painstaking commute through the Bronx, Manhattan and Queens. She had to withdraw from school and take a few semesters off to financially support herself and her children. Angelie encourages mothers to “not give up” in difficult, parental situations. She plans on going back to school to continue her education.
Nisha Luckey is a 20-year-old mother who began taking classes at LaGuardia in 2015. After having a successful second semester and feeling comfortable at school, she found out that she was nearly three months pregnant. She was not only worried about how to break the news to her mother, she also didn’t think she could balance motherhood and graduate on time. Not allowing her pregnancy to stop her, Nisha kept her baby and continued attending classes. As her due date approached she decided to take a semester off. “Don’t beat yourself up for taking a semester off,” was Nisha’s mantra to help get over the guilt of not being in school. After the birth of her daughter, she has since gone back to school and is now completing her college career.
Shelove Sainfleur, mother of Zariah, 9, and Genesis, 1, is a 29-year old mother. She began taking classes at LaGuardia in 2015, as a Criminal Justice major. Before attending LaGuardia, she went to Medgar Evers College in 2008. Because of her pregnancy she withdrew from the college. After the birth of her daughter, she decided to go back to school. Shelove decided to attend LaGuardia. While excelling in school, she became pregnant with her second daughter and had to take a few semesters off. Shelove explains, “It was a struggle, but it became easy. With the support of my family it got easier.” She also explains that with the help of God, she received the strength to take care of her children. While doing so, she didn’t forget about school. She came back to LaGuardia, completed her last semesters, and now is a LaGuardia Community College alum.