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MSJC Provides For Single Parents This Holiday Season

Mt. San Jacinto College hosted families participating in the CARE program on Saturday.

More than 52 single parents from low-income families received gifts for their children during a holiday celebration Saturday hosted by the Mt. San Jacinto College Cooperative Agencies Resources for Education program.

MSJC provides education and services to thousands of valley residents, including families from Temecula, Lake Elsinore and Murrieta.

Student and Murrieta resident Tiffany Harris, 23, is a single parent and part of the CARE program. As a parent of two, she knows firsthand how difficult earning an education can be.

“Without the services provided through these programs, I'm not sure how I can do it,’’ said Harris.

Harris is earning a degree in radiology and just earned a spot in the school's honor society.

“I want to be able to provide for my family.’’

Fellow CARE student Marquita Barney, 29, is also appreciative of the services she receives through CARE. 

“CARE provides support, not just with school, but the students really pull together and support one another,’’ said Barney. "We are all single parents, facing our own struggles, but we can relate to each other because we all know how hard it can be.’’

CARE is a state-funded program designed to provide assistance and support for single-parent head of households. The main goal is to help obtain a degree, certification, transfer and/or marketable job skills.

Services include priority registration, book aid, academic and personal counseling and low-cost parking permits.

“Many of the programs providing these services go unknown to the student, which is unfortunate because many students could benefit from these programs,’’ said Ketmani Kouanchao, director of the CARE and EOPS programs for the college.

Kouanchao goes onto to emphasize that for many, the choice to further their education depends on factors such as finances, the ability to earn a living and balancing parenthood with homework. 

CARE coordinator Cindy Manzanilla concurs and encourages those interested in furthering their education to not let these obstacles deter them.

“Anyone, current student or not, is welcome to contact the school to find out about these services, financial aid and other programs that can help ease the strains or concerns that are stopping them from achieving their educational goals.’’

Saturday's event included holiday crafts for the children, lunch and a visit from Santa.

The Soboba Band of Luiseno Indians, Soboba Casino and the Soboba Foundation also donated 100 toys for the children of CARE program parents.

Much of the event was made possible by student volunteers through clubs such as CARE, EOPS and the Black Student Union.

For more information on becoming a member of any of these programs or sponsorship opportunities for next year's event, contact Ketmani Kouanchao, Director of EOPS/CARE Programs at Kkouanchao@msjc.edu or Cindy Manzanilla at erenteria@msjc.edu.

Galactic Cannibal December 09, 2012 at 03:56 AM
So how about another 52 students attending UCSD, who have no children and are working their butts off to get degrees in engineering , so they can support themselves and contribute to America without any hand out gifts. They could easily have got pregnant like the 52 in this article. But they choose to learn first and go to a great university like. UCSD. I am sick and tired of hearing about the so-called have-nots. They all started free but decided to get less free by spawning a baby. Then grumble about their struggles and go suck off the system. You never hear about the other 52 at UCSD who stay free and learn and pay their way Then get good jobs because of their early effort and struggles..
Constant Comment December 09, 2012 at 04:20 AM
Yeah but at least these people are trying! They're getting that education to advance themselves. They've proven that they deserve a nice holiday get-together by putting in their efforts to better themselves, their children & their futures. (These people are NOT the ones in line yelling gimmie something for nothing) They are earning it & its twice as hard doing that with kids then without. I say kudos to these people! }~)
Brenda December 09, 2012 at 10:54 AM
WTG Constant Comm!!! These women decided to HAVE their child, not give it up, abort, or dump it in a dumpster. They also went to finish high school and get into college caring for themselves, their child, college and working. You try all that Gal Cann and without a joint to suck on :) These women stay on point with their plans for their lives even if it now include a baby, and in my case a grandchild. Yes, my honors student daughter got pregnant her senior year, graduated, went on to have my grandson, and immediately stayed on course to get her AA, and now is towards the end of her Masters at 21. She worked through the pregnancy, went to school, and god bless her still does not miss a beat and is a spectacular Mom. She does not qualify for most of these programs as she lives with the husband and I, thank God because she also helps taking me to doctors appts when needed. So please, DO NOT come spouting off in here about women who have a child at maybe not the most opportune time and might rely on a little help. Most all work for what they get, or their parents did and have w/40yrs of taxes. We donate alot because I have seen how hard these girls work to make a life for themselves and their child, with little to no help. These girls are not illegal Mexicans who are now getting a free college education thanks to Governor Brown, getting free food, housing, medi-cal and keep having babies. We all do have to pay for the illegals college thou dont we? Dudette
The Teller of Truth December 09, 2012 at 07:57 PM
I applaud the INITIATIVE that these young folks have to improve themselves & their circumstances! I applaud people like BRENDA for standing up for & helping them out! (There is a huge difference between a hand out & a hand up.) Good for all of these people doing the right thing! Although it might be harder, know that you are on the right path for you and your children. God Bless!
Galactic Cannibal December 10, 2012 at 04:17 AM
People wear blinkers every day . The 52 students at UCSD choose not to get pregnant , but to educate themselves first. A far more logical way to start their lives, Versus the 52 in this article who choose to get pregnant and cry over their spilt milk, no logic there..
rosa December 10, 2012 at 06:09 AM
Quit crying and let them be! their doing something good for them selves
Constant Comment December 10, 2012 at 07:06 AM
Not everyone can be "logical" 100 % of the time. Sometimes unplanned pregnancies happen or a spouse leaves, etc.... The point here, in this article, is that these people are doing something positive about their situation to better themselves. They're not just idly waiting for some handouts. Also having an education will help you know the difference between "blinkers" and BLINDERS! }~)
KatieB December 10, 2012 at 08:16 PM
you are talking about BABIES...that *should* have a shot at a good life, with as prepared and educated of a mother, as they possibly can! So they got pregnant...they have a living, breathing child, that deserves a chance, and deserves a future, and opportunities that an education will provide their single mother. There is abuse in every system, none is perfect...people are born into money...is that "fair" either? Is it "fair" that some of your bosses, once you graduate, will spend more time on facebook, and cheating on their families behind their office door, and hold YOU accountable for their numbers??? Look around, "fair" is a dream. We're all doing the best we can, and that these parents seek a way out of desperate situations with an actual education, is commendable. PLEASE tell me, you've NEVER created a set of circumstances you might have rather been postponed.....? Your position suggests you do PREFER these parents to have as hard of a time as humanly possible. I have a friend that did exactly what you suggest, because she was SO determined to NOT have "help". She walked and took busses ALL day, 16 hours a day, with 2 jobs while her kids lived in a crappy apartment, and in after school care, and don't even remember much of their mother during their waking hours, until they were in their teens. BRILLIANT plan, right? She is 44 now with grandchildren, and FINALLY getting her education. I guess you think this is a great plan, right? Her kids would not agree...
The Teller of Truth December 10, 2012 at 09:04 PM
Galactic must have been momemtarily blinded by all the blinkers that people wear every day! Lol
Galactic Cannibal December 10, 2012 at 10:06 PM
What these young women are going is great for them .. But they could have made it so much easier had the not gone down that pregnant path. That's all I am saying . But giving them all this press publicity etc and ignoring the 52 at UCSD is to say the least, biased in favor of those 52 who acted illogically got pregnant early on.
The Teller of Truth December 10, 2012 at 10:20 PM
GC, I hear ya but doing things the right way is not news, is not sensational journalism, and does not sell papers...so to speak. You're always going to read articles about the boozing couple that got into it and got hauled off to jail. Thats interesting to most readers. Seldom will you hear about the quiet outstanding couple who lives well in the American dream. Thats just a boring read! Thats just a bad example to illustrate how seldom we hear about decent people like your 52 students. The kids in this article are about overcoming adversity & this meant to be inspirational to others that might be fighting the same battle, thats all.
rodger cambell December 14, 2012 at 05:43 AM
Single parents who want a little work and to help fundraising go to: www.hkht.org and send contact info. Room for two or three more.
donna vincent April 11, 2013 at 09:14 PM
Donna Vincent With all single parents a little help does help us. To get to our goals inlife.Thats what i support in my life. In the future its going to help your kids in a goal in their lifes too.

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