Center assists student mothers

Imagine working, attending school and raising a baby at the same time. This is the challenge some college women have to face. In this day and age there is a steady increase of single mothers.

Sharon Ames-Dennard, director of the Center for Human Development, works in the Sunshine Manor adjacent to black archives.

“The mind is a terrible thing to lose,” said Dennard, explaining the importance of mental health. “Child care can be real critical. It’s important for parents to have time for themselves.”

The Center for Human Development is a Division of Student Affairs. It provides a friendly, confidential atmosphere where students can discuss important issues.

Its goal is to promote mental well ness through effective prevention and early intervention programs.

On a daily basis Dennard works with student mothers by providing them counseling services on managing a child. These services are free to enrolled students.

“Mothers in college can easily have a nervous breakdown,” Dennard said. “To avoid a mental health crisis mothers need to learn how to prevent stress.”

Dominique Gilbert, a junior business student from Tampa, has a one-year-old baby boy.

“It’s stressful and challenging,” Gilbert said. “I’m faced with taking the responsibility of raising a child and working.”

Independent, strong and single, Gilbert works a part-time job and somehow manages to attend school full time while raising a baby.

Despite Gilbert’s daily responsiblities she manages to visit Sunshine Manor for a boost of moral support.

” I couldn’t do it without the help of God and my friends,” she said.

Tammy Johnson, a freshman from Orlando, is expecting a baby anytime now.

“I’m worried but determined to stay focused at the same time,” Johnson said.

She says without the presence of a father figure its almost seems impossible.

“I recieve my motivation from my baby and the professionals that conunsel me at the development center,” Johnson said.

Single and a working mother, both characteristics of a survivor.

Trying to balance both a baby and one’s responsibilities can be very stressful. Fortunately, the Human Development Center is ready to assist.

The center consists of eager, trained professionals who are committed to assist in a student’s time of need.

For information on the Human Development Center call (850) 599-3145.