Single-parent students at Salt Lake Community College have different reasons for attending school. Some look to get out of poverty and give their child the life he or she deserves. Some still want to pursue the profession of their dreams.
• Raising a child with no partner puts all decisions on one adult, and there are times when a single mother might need outside help or advice. Dialing a call to 2-1-1, which is number for the United Way Information and Referral Center, could be useful at that moment. The Center Support group can help with a range of topics such as abuse, adolescents, divorce, parenting, and many other issues.
• Child care at SLCC assists with the cost of licensed child care. The Child Care Assistance Voucher Program supports low income students by supplementing the cost of child care. For more information about child care program call (801) 957-4567.
Jennifer Jones, a 41-year old mother of two had her first boy out of marriage when she was 23. She later married the father of her child, and they had a daughter seven years later. When she and her husband eventually separated, it not only left her a single mother, but a single income mother. She never received a penny for child support.
“Most of my challenges have been anything extra like school clothes, lunches, registrations, medical bills, and normal daily activities you want do with your children,” Jones said. “Managing money has been a huge problem because I love to take my kids swimming, to the movies, out to eat, camping, fishing, and to lagoon so that’s been rough.”
Jones completed the electronics program at the Ogden Weber Applied Technology College as a mother of two. The education she obtained led to a job at the Hill Air Force Base, where she works today. Jones also found a great support from her family.
“Had it not been for my fantastic dad and terrific brother I would have not of made it,” said Jones.
For some single mothers, day care becomes one of the places where she can get backing from other women in similar situations.
“They become like a natural support group for each other here,” said Sharlie Barber, manager at the Early Childhood Lab School at the SLCC Taylorsville Redwood Campus.
“To avoid becoming overwhelmed, it’s important to pay attention to yourself and see what your limits are,” said Scott Kadera, counseling manager at SLCC Health & Wellness Services. “People who are perfectionists, for example, and who think they can ‘do it all,’ may be taking on too much and putting themselves at risk of burnout.”
Many students don’t anticipate the homework load of a typical college course. Single parents in particular can increase their chances for success in a class by communicating with their professors.
“Let your teachers know what you are going through and your situation as a single parent,” Kadera said. “Also, build a good support system with people who can help out.”