Illinois Valley Community College’s Single Parent Connections program has added a Student Parent Success group.
“The group allows student parents to be part of a support/discussion group on campus and each month’s topic gives students the opportunity to learn new techniques to better balance their daily responsibilities,” program coordinator Aurora Medina said.
The main goal of the group is to provide a fun, relaxed, safe space and break down barriers student parents may face to help them reach all their personal, educational and career goals.
“Students encounter challenges including not having enough money for gas, unexpected automotive repairs or maintenance, child care costs and living expenses. Many have to choose whether to come to school or go to work to help support daily living expenses,” she added.
“In the group, they learn about different organizations on campus and in the community that support single parent education.”
Single Parent Connections has been on IVCC’s campus since 1997 and has served over 500 students.
Nursing student Josie Malone of Peru is a single mother of a nine-year-old daughter.
“Coming back to school, my biggest obstacle was myself. I had a lot of self-doubt to deal with. The Single Parent program has helped me connect with resources like the Business Employment Skills Team, Inc. (BEST, Inc.) to help fund my education,” said Malone.
“To other single parents thinking about going back to school, you can do it! Anyone can. Don’t limit yourself with self-doubt.”
In her three years as program coordinator, Medina has enjoyed expressing her creative side and serving an underrepresented population.
“With the Student Parent Success group, I’m looking forward to providing services that will help students reach their personal and career goals. The main motivator for these students is their children. They want to set the example, but also earn a livable wage so they can support their family,” Medina said.
For information, contact Medina at (815) 224-0347 or firstname.lastname@example.org.