By Sydney Agee
A full load of schoolwork can be a heavy burden. But some Chemeketa students endure that load while taking care of children as well.
Karina Guzmin, Molly Bennett, and Nick Lazukin are excellent in the classroom and also hold the responsibility of raising children.
Guzmin is sponsored through Early College High School, where she will earn her high school diploma as well as her Associates of Oregon Transfer Degree this year.
She raises her 3-year old daughter Yaretzi with the help of her boyfriend.
Luckily for Guzmin, her daughter stays at the daycare center in Bldg. 50, along with the children of many teen parents in the Teen Parent Program.
“The hardest thing is knowing you have so many things to do,” Guzmin said.
Most of the student parents’ routines are similar to each other: getting everyone ready, getting everyone fed, and getting everyone out the door on time.
Molly Bennett’s husband, Michael, already is working in the morning, which leaves her on her own to get her 21-month old daughter Emery ready for the day.
“I try to get ready while sheís eating,” Bennett said. “But since she’s a toddler, she needs a lot of supervision.”
Nick Lazukin is married and has three children. His wife is usually home taking care of the children when he’s at school. But she also works a part-time job, so arranging daycare services can be difficult.
Lazukin said that there are challenges to raising children while attending college full-time.
All of the parents agreed that the greatest challenge they face is when a child is ill.
“Kids are very needy, especially when they’re sick,” Lazukin said.
Bennett always managed to maintain good grades, but her daughter has been struck with the flu and with various colds throughout this term.
“I can’t take her to her daycare with all the other kids when she’s sick,” she said, although she also thinks that this was where her daughter got sick in the first place.
Bennett said that because of having to take care of her daughter , “I had to miss a lot of school, and I’m working extra hard to keep my grades up.”
Guzmin is a part of Early College High School’s Emaa Da drum corps, which only adds to the amount of time that she has to manage. She has to make time for drumming, school work, and most importantly her daughter.
All of the parents agreed that even though raising a child while attending school was difficult, keeping the important things in mind makes it easier.
As Bennett said, “Having a child while being a student is hard, but I’m doing it all for her.”
By Sydney Agee