Student Parent Center Reopens in October
In October, the Student Parent Center is reopening in the Student Resource Center located at T.2200 providing weekday hours for enrolled students to study while accompanied by their children. The Student Parent Center offers individual workspaces equipped with computers, a children’s learning and play area filled with books and toys, a conference room for group study and discussion, a private lactation area with a sink, and family activities and presentations on topics of interest to student parents.
“There are more than 650 student parents currently enrolled at Minneapolis College,” said Elma Osmanovic, Outreach Coordinator in the Student Resource Center who appreciates how the Student Parent Center offers a safe area for parents to work on their studies alongside their children. “The relocated Student Parent Center has close proximity to several basic needs offered on campus including a stocked food pantry that offers fresh produce every Wednesday and information about resources ranging from transportation to child care to housing.”
Osmanovic received her AAS degree in Human Services from Minneapolis College in 2021 and served as a student intern prior to taking a full-time position in the Student Resource Center after graduating. “The College recognizes there are myriad barriers students face that can keep them from finishing their education,” said Osmanovic who appreciates the student-centered values that anchor all decisions, programs, and services around student needs at the College. “The Center is a piece of a broader retention plan that supports students in all areas of their lives.”
Rebeca Aurelus – Balancing School and Being a Single Mom
Minneapolis College business student Rebeca Aurelus is a single mother to a six-year-old daughter. Aurelus and her daughter moved to Minneapolis from Florida to be near family, however, when things didn’t go as planned, they ended up homeless and living in a local shelter. While attending a council meeting at the shelter, Aurelus learned about the Jeremiah Program from another mother. The Jeremiah Program is a national organization with a mission to disrupt the cycle of poverty for single mothers and their children, two generations at a time. They believe when a mother invests simultaneously in her personal and professional goals and the education of her children, she can re-author her family’s outcomes and act as a change agent within her community.
Finding it difficult to believe there was an organization like the Jeremiah Program, Aurelus felt blessed she was able to take advantage of the opportunity. Once in stable housing, Aurelus enrolled at Minneapolis College where she began soaking up every opportunity to learn.
“Single mom’s struggle balancing school and parenting,” said Aurelus who was able to take advantage of studying in the Student Parent Center prior to having child care. “It’s hard to stay in school with the great demands placed on single parents and I care about supportive opportunities like this that help students succeed.”
“I am always trying to grow as a person and every time you meet me, I will be on that journey,” said Aurelus who believes each person is on their own individual path and when they bring their experiences together, they create new answers. “I am appreciative of Minneapolis College and all of its resources that support me as I continue on my journey.”