Student parents balance school and kids

By Reana Renee Chavez
Pulse Staff Reporter

rchavez1The parents who deal with classes and homework and work all share a common motivation and reasons to keep doing what they’re doing: their kids, a better life for their family or a good job that fits them perfectly.

Students usually have a lot on their mind when they are in school, with deadlines to worry about and grades to manage.

Some of your fellow students also have to worry about taking care of their children. As you look around and watch people eating lunch or waiting for your next class to start, you won’t know who is struggling with children and homework unless you are told directly or they know you personally.

Taking care of a child or children while enrolled in full-time classes takes a toll on the student parents here. It’s a tough job having to manage everything at once and try not to forget to do certain things.

Palo Alto College offers child care services for student parents who take classes on this campus as well as Texas A&M at San Antonio students, and the children of PAC faculty and staff.

“This facility has a limit of 66 children, but we are currently at 44 and no longer accepting any other children for the semester,” said Natalie Glover, administrative specialist at Palo Alto’s Ray Ellison Family Center.

The fees for the Ray Ellison Center depend on the child’s age: young toddlers, older toddlers or if they’re pre-school aged. The prices also depend on the day of the week, or days of the week the parent chooses to enroll their child.

Sometimes students aren’t able to afford the cost of the childcare services at Ray Ellison and usually have the backup of their family members or close friends.

“In my experience so far, here at Palo Alto, the teachers are understanding. When I have had to miss a test because the babysitter didn’t show, I had the opportunity to make it up on my own time,” said sophomore Biology major Eileen Sanchez. Many of the other parents out there can more than likely relate to this, as well.

Parents usually look out for other parents, whether it is with tips or with lending a hand when they see one struggling.

Sanchez doesn’t want to make the same missteps as her parents, who didn’t attend college.

“They didn’t know how to guide my brothers and me through the process. We made a lot of mistakes our first year of college. I don’t want my kids to have to go through that,” she said.