Student Parent Spotlight
Congratulations to student parent, Desare Hall - named as one of the Top 5 Management Majors at Isenberg in 2020! Desare graduated with her Bachelors in Business Administration from Isenberg School of Management this summer and started her Masters of Business Administration at Isenberg this fall. Way to go, Desare!
Desare shared her story with us:
If you would have asked me in high school if I saw myself completing my degree at 33 years old, I would have told you, you were crazy. My dream has always been to get my degree, but life happens and at 20 years old I had my first daughter and needed to put my dreams on hold to work full-time. Back in 2007 (when my daughter was born) there were not many online programs so I attempted to return to school several times but always ended up having to “drop out” because of babysitter issues or just from exhaustion because I was a single parent working close to 80 hours per week.
I had my second daughter in 2014 and it was a lot harder to go back to work because I knew I was going to miss out on a lot of her life (just like my first daughters) from working so much. One day I had a conversation with one of the Operations Managers at my job and she told me about how she had gone to UMass as a single mom of two and did it all online. That night I started to look into online programs and found that I could begin my studies at STCC and then transfer over to UMass to finish my Bachelor’s. I was so excited, I applied that night and started taking courses over the summer. The online program worked for me because I could make my own schedule for the week; even if that meant waking up at 4am and doing homework before work.
My family and I made a lot of sacrifices, but I had so much encouragement along the way from my UMass family that I knew I could not give up. From the professors who would reach out just to say, “Good job,” to SPP and the CCAMPIS Program who provided me so much assistance to make sure I made it to the finish line. Juggling work, school, and kids is not easy but UMass and Student Parent Programs made it a lot easier for me. I cannot say enough good things about my experience at UMass as a single parent, but I know that without the additional support I’m not sure I would have made it this far. I am forever grateful.
Desare's story touches on themes that are common among so many student parents - the struggle to balance work, school and family; the determination to work hard and persevere despite setbacks; the role that encouragement and support can play in helping to overcome challenges; and the critical need for dependable, affordable child care.
If you have a story that you'd like share in our newsletter - perhaps it's a milestone you're proud of, an honor or award you've received, a paper you've published or something that would be inspiring for other student parents, please email us. We will feature new student parent stories each month.