College life is filled with challenges like managing your time, earning good grades, and working internships and jobs. The last two years of your college career can be especially stressful, now imagine throwing kids into the picture.
Meet USG’s supermoms – Denisa Caballero and Amelia Ross, both Communication majors at the University of Maryland, College Park attending classes at The Universities at Shady Grove.
Denisa Caballero, is a mother of two little girls Maria, age 12 and Sophia age 7. Denisa is a full time student and currently interns in the domestic violence unit at the Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office. The 28 year old had her first daughter at age 16, and decided it was best to pursue her GED rather than continuing on with high school. Soon after her baby was born she started to work at various retail stores to support her first child. In 2012 she made the decision to go to Montgomery College for her Associates degree and then transferred on to USG.
Denisa was one of the Camille Kendall scholarship recipients, which gave her a full ride and the opportunity to earn her Bachelor’s degree. I asked her what the most challenging thing is about being a mom/student to which she said – finding a balance. Denisa found a creative way to overcome that challenge by having family “study halls” at her home where everyone does their HW together – a great way to spend time with her kids while also focusing on school.
Amelia Ross, 28 is also a full time student currently taking 18 credits. Ross is the strategic planning intern at a nonprofit organization called God’s Connection Transition, who’s mission is to support homeless and impoverished people in the D.C. Metropolitan area. When Amelia graduated from high school at age 18, her heart was set on the entertainment industry. The young woman worked hard to make a name for herself as a singer/songwriter as well as actress and model. She even went out to California to meet with a record label about a song that she produced.
Amelia met her husband Matt Ross through a mutual friend, and the two grew a strong bond through their shared love and passion for music. One year after the couple wed, they had their now four year old daughter Maylia. Amelia soon realized that the entertainment industry is a highly competitive and highly challenging field to break into and did not offer her the financial stability that she needed for her family.
That’s when Ross decided to go to college, and like Denisa she did the Montgomery College to USG transfer process. Amelia began to excel in her studies and through her education began to build a new sense of confidence in herself.
I asked Amelia what the most rewarding part about motherhood is to her, and she responded – unconditional love. She explained to me that no matter how overly self-critical you are of yourself as a mother, your child shows you this unconditional love which reinforces to you that you must be doing something right.
Amelia and Denisa both shared pieces of advice they want all struggling mothers to know. Amelia said that the most important thing is to surround yourself with positive people, and to develop a strong support system to push you through the hard times. Denisa said that the most important thing to remember about motherhood is to never give up, even on those days where you feel like there’s no light at the end of the tunnel always remember that tomorrow is a new day.
I’ proud to say that these two inspiring women are my classmates, and USG has many more parents who have decided to go back to school to chase their dreams and to support their children.
Thanks Denisa and Amelia for sharing your story and empowering women at USG!