Jade's Suffolk StoryThe past four years at Suffolk have been the best I've ever known.
As a first-generation college student, I was quick to get involved on campus. I dedicated my free time to organizations such as the Journey Leadership Program, Love Your Melon, Christopher's Haven, and service opportunities. After my freshman year, I became the secretary of the Health Careers Club and was elected president the following year. I attended an environmental trip to the Grand Canyon on Alternative Spring Break and led the honors trip the year after. I am an honors student and member of the National Biological Honor Society, too.
In my junior year, I became pregnant with my son, Oliver. This completely changed everything. I worked harder in school despite the sickness and fatigue. I completed an EMT training course and passed my national exams, all while carrying a baby. It was a challenging year. Some nights were much harder than others, but I never gave up on achieving my goals.
After the birth of my son, I returned to school as a full-time student. Managing work, a full course load, and motherhood was difficult, but it taught me patience I never knew I had. This May, I will graduate on time as an honors student with the rest of my class. Despite the challenges along the way, I never allowed myself to think I couldn't do this.
Having a baby so young brought on an uproar about how I would have to dedicate my life exclusively to being a mother, miss out on a career, and drop out of college. There is a social stigma that pressures women to choose between having successful careers and becoming compassionate mothers. I want to give people the courage to achieve their dreams despite these standards in society. I hope people look at me and realize that there is a way for parents to be successful and powerful.