It takes a dedicated student to do well in college, but to be a student and a parent takes dedication to a new level.
For students who are parents at Ferris, some of that stress can be eased through the Students with Children (SWC) program. Directed by Karen GreenBay, the program has been around since 2009 and has provided resources to hundreds of student parents.
At their fall kick-off event Thursday, Sept. 7, parents new to the program could learn more about SWC and Life Resources, a Big Rapids organization that provides parental support, parenting classes and life-skills classes. Life Resources also provides free services such as pregnancy tests and ultrasounds at their medical clinic.
Getting parents connected with the campus and community resources in order to make their lives easier is at the forefront of the minds of those who run the program.
Among those connections are child care services, family activities, housing options, job links and local school options. SWC also offers a scholarship to parents based off of GPA and participation in the program.
“It gives me an opportunity to spend more time with my family,” Ferris actuarial science senior Anzhane Lance said. “The Students with Children program reminds us what we’re here for and why we’re working so hard. It gives us fun stuff to do with our kids that we probably couldn’t afford on our own.”
The goal of SWC is to not only provide resources to parents, but also to provide an outlet for students to get away from homework and have fun with their children.
“It’s pretty nice to relax and spend a day with my kids,” Ferris mechanical engineering student Adam Lassen said. “It’s even better because you have the day to not worry about homework, or doctor’s appointments or class or anything else that’s going on.”
Lassen is also the secretary of the Student-Parent Association (SPA), an RSO that works in conjunction with SWC. With the same end goal in mind, SPA puts on events for families throughout the year.
“I have to work a little harder with my time management to balance everything– to make sure I get my classwork done and still take care of my family and be around,” Lance said. “I feel like I have to take a couple more steps every day, take a couple more steps every night to make sure my daughter has everything she needs.”
The next event SWC has planned is a trip to Klackle Apple Orchard Saturday, Sept. 16. For more information, check their Facebook page or email firstname.lastname@example.org.