Great Stories · Reflections · Service · Work

Great Stories part IV: It’s more than just college.

“As college coaches, we want to see our students succeed in college. However, it’s no secret that college is hard and life gets in the way. With that in mind, our primary job is to be the support system that our students need, even if that means they will have to leave school for whatever reason or put off re-enrolling. I found out that my unenrolled student C was pregnant the first time I talked to her. This was early in the term of service, and for me it was confusing as to what exactly I should be talking to her about at that point. Should I mention school even though this baby is going to change her life? How would she react to that? I decided to grit my teeth and just go for it, letting her know that I understood it was a complicated situation. She responded saying that she was still planning on enrolling at MATC sometime after the baby was born, which was really impressive for me to hear given the circumstances.

Fast forward a few months. In that time we have had several more check-in conversations, setting up a more solid plan for C’s future as she kept me updated with everything going on with the baby and her life in general. As her due date approached, I was taken aback by how in love she already was with her child, and how excited she was to tell me that they had chosen a name for him. Our conversations mostly revolved around how she felt about everything, and most of the time she could not have been happier with her life. Once the baby came C became a little less responsive (for obvious reasons), but we were still able to have those serious conversations about her academic plans now that she knew what being a mother was like. We settled on a realistic goal of Fall 2017 for her to enroll at MATC before finishing a bachelor’s, giving her some time to get back in the swing of working and adjusting to her new normal. At this point, it was time to tell her that I wasn’t sure if I would be her coach the following year. She responded saying that she appreciated every time I texted her just to ask how things were going and thanked me for everything. Our relationship revolved around things outside of academics, arguably things that are more important. And even something as simple as asking a student how they are in a general sense can make a huge difference to them.”

That was my last conversation with C.  Her posts on Facebook are now focused much more on family, being a mother, and being a support system to those around her.  Seeing that dedication not only to her family, but to going to school as well is so inspiring to me.  C is one of the students that shows what kind of students College Possible has, and how lucky we are to even know them.

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