Back to School in the Eyes of a Participant: Cishella

It’s my senior year at the University of Louisville; as a disabled, single student parent, it will be both challenging and rewarding. I am pursuing an undergraduate degree in Disability Studies and Advocacy with a minor in Global Public Health. Thanks to the unwavering support of Family Scholar House, I am equipped with the tools and resources needed to navigate this unique path. Preparing for the Fall semester has been a holistic process with academic and personal growth. 

Organizational skills are crucial to my academic success. I knew I would need refresher courses to stay on track, so I took the initiative to meet with my academic coach. These sessions help me fine-tune my time management skills, develop effective study habits, and create a schedule that balances my academic commitments and parenting responsibilities. These skills ensure I’m more equipped to tackle any upcoming challenges head-on.

My son and I participated in various community back-to-school supply events to ensure a seamless start. These events provided essential school materials and allowed us to connect with other families in similar situations. The support and camaraderie we experience reassure us that we are not alone in this journey.

Beyond the academic realm, my family advocate is pivotal in preparing us for the upcoming school year. Meeting with her is a profoundly enriching experience, as she helps me address potential challenges and explore additional support services. Her guidance is invaluable, instilling in me the confidence that we can overcome any hurdles that come our way.

I also have to make physical preparations to ensure academic success because I am a disabled student and single parent. I proactively requested school accommodations through the Disability Resource Center and collaborated with Vocational Rehabilitation to receive additional accommodations and support. I  feel empowered, with these resources, to overcome obstacles and maximize my academic potential.

I also took the initiative to meet with my primary care physician to develop a comprehensive care plan. Addressing my health needs ensures I have the tools to balance my responsibilities as a student and parent effectively. This comprehensive approach to my well-being not only allows me to be physically prepared for the upcoming semester and reinforces my commitment to personal growth and success.

My son and I also took a little time for some fun amidst preparing for the new school year. We explored Kentucky Kingdom, marveled at the wonders of the Kentucky Science Center, and attended a Blippi concert (courtest of FSH). All of these moments helped create lasting memories for my son and me. 

I am determined to approach the new semester with a well-rounded perspective. I am ready to embrace the challenges with confidence and determination. The support of the Family Scholar House program and my son’s love are inspirations for this journey. I am excited to embark on this path of growth and accomplishment as a single disabled student parent, making a meaningful impact in Disability Studies, Advocacy, and Global Public Health. With this knowledge, I know I have taken every step possible to prepare for this pivotal year, and I eagerly anticipate the opportunities and triumphs that await me.

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