Women's Center offers support for mothers

From scholarships to support groups, the Women’s Center at Weber State University offers a variety of resources when it comes to helping mothers achieve their education goals.

“Come in and we’ll sit down,” said Carol Merrill, director for the Women’s Center at WSU. “We schedule appointment times, and we will provide to any student or potential student the resources they need on campus or in the community to help them be a more effective student.”

Nancy Yazzie, a nursing student at WSU, spoke about how difficult it is being a mother and attending school.

“You have that obligation to your work and to school and to get good grades and keep your scholarship, but your kids need you at home,” she said. “My kids absolutely love it when there’s no school for me. I’m home, and they’re like, ‘Mom! Mom!’”

Tyler, Nancy’s young son, said he thought it was good his mother was in school, and he plans on going to college when he’s old enough.

One service the Women’s Center offers to help with educational and personal goals, parenting, stress management and networking with other mothers is its support group for single mothers. The 60-minute meeting takes place every other Tuesday in Room 312 of the Shepherd Union Building. The next one takes place on Jan. 29.

Yazzie also said the financial aspect of being a mother and going to school is stressful.

“Going to school full-time and having kids, you still have to think about providing for your family,” she said. “You have to pay tuition and books, but you have to make sure your kids eat and are clothed and you spend time with them.”

The Women’s Center also provides help when it comes to funding and financial resources for mothers attending school.

“It’s important for the Women’s Center to be the one to help facilitate information on how women can help fund their education, regardless of their circumstances,” Merrill said. “Always, January is a key time to be applying for scholarships for the fall and spring of the upcoming year. It’s critical that students know they need to plan ahead.”

One such scholarship with a fast-approaching deadline is the Gump and Ayers Scholarship, funding offered to single mothers through the PEO Sisterhood. The scholarship was founded in 1996 in memory of Marjorie B. Gump, and Merrill said the Women’s Center has helped facilitate the scholarship for years.

To be eligible, applicants must be single mothers, residents of the state of Utah, have financial need and provide two letters of recommendation. The deadline for applications for the Gump and Ayers scholarship is Feb. 1. Applications for the scholarship can be picked up in the Women’s Center or downloaded from the center’s website.

Another such scholarship available for single mothers is the Jane Breen Holmes Scholarship.

“Jane Breen Holmes offered a scholarship,” Merrill said. “She was very passionate about making sure that her funding went to a single mom who was not just a good student, but was a good mom.”

Merrill also said Holmes was very dear to the Women’s Center. After she passed away, a plot of land was secured just east of the Shepherd Union Building. Holmes loved daffodils, and her family and friends planted daffodils on the plot of land in her honor.

“I can’t tell you how honored we are to continue that scholarship in her name,” Merrill said. “We are very, very honored to do that in her memory.”

The Women’s Center also offers information on nationally offered scholarships.

“We have a book that we keep in our office that provides scholarships nationally for students,” Merrill said. “So they can come and use that resource book and look for scholarships that are not on our webpage — that are not in our Weber State scholarship office — but that are offered by private organizations throughout the nation. That is a great book, a great resource.”

More information is available at the Women’s Center, Room 322 in the Shepherd Union Building, and at www.weber.edu/womenscenter.