Always Be Investing In Yourself: Single Parent Denise Juggles Two Kids, a Full-Time Job and Still Decides To Study For a Degree

Editor’s Note: The best investment you can make is an investment in your education (in real life or in college). But every time we write about this, we inevitably get a handful of knock backs, “That’s easy for you! I just don’t have the time! I am busy with _______!”

In this essay, Denise writes about the unexpected turn her life took and how she earned her degree while juggling two kids and a full-time job.

Her story reminds of an old adage: When there’s a will, there’s a way.


After growing up in Colombia, I accepted an invitation to learn English in a student exchange program in Australia. I was in Australia for a year away from my family and worked very hard to try and master the English language.

While in Australia, I got to see for the first time the Summer Olympics. I was in awe of the games that so many people across the globe were enthralled with. After my studies in Australia, I made the decision to move in with a friend in West Palm Beach, Florida. Although I had grasped the English language, I still did not feel very confident in my ability to properly communicate. Thus, I took a job waitressing in my comfort zone of a Colombian restaurant. My life took an unexpected turn and I became pregnant with my first child. Being away from my family and now pregnant at the age of nineteen was a huge challenge for me.

My goal in coming to the states was to pursue a college education and I now had to put off my studies to become a full-time parent. I have since had a second child and now am raising two kids as a single parent and see how important my education is. I took a job at the local hospital and started to see that I was being passed over with certain career opportunities due my lacking a college degree.

I am a very determined individual and do not like to feel inferior in any shape or form. It is because of this that I enrolled myself in the local community college to pursue the same degree that I wanted at the age of nineteen.

Although my situation is very different now as I have to balance my studies with my very important role as parent, my resolve has never been stronger. I want very much to obtain a business degree so I can be afforded opportunities at the hospital but most importantly, I would like my two young children to be proud of their mommy.

I have since finished my Associate of Arts degree at Palm Beach State Community College with a GPA of 3.7 all the while being a role model and raising my two young children and working full-time at a hospital.

I am determined to earn my degree and set an example for my two children to never give up on their dreams and to deal with adversity head on. If you decide to award me your scholarship, I promise to fulfill all the hopes and aspirations you have when you decided to create an opportunity for someone like me to attend a University.

Perhaps one day, I will use my degree to help out society in a positive way. Lastly, while growing up in Colombia, I dreamed of the day of attending class and one day walking across a stage with my degree in hand. In this dream, my parents would be there crying and cheering me on.  This dream will become reality and now my parents are not alone.

My children are there, clapping for their mommy, and I know I have paved the way for them to be successful in their life.

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