Students celebrate resilience in upcoming event

Image courtesy: Erin Holloway Instagram

In a celebration of resilience and triumph, the upcoming event, “Dad, I’m in College Now,” promises an open and inspiring discussion about the journey from single-parent households to achieving higher education.

This unique panel discussion, featuring individuals who have successfully transitioned from such backgrounds to higher education, aims to shed light on the challenges, triumphs and shared experiences of this resilient community.

With 64% of Black children coming from single-parent families — according to — event organizers, FAMU sophomores, Erin Holloway, Kelis Mathis, Kayla Roberts and Amber Whitt, want the event to serve as a beacon of hope and community, while inspiring attendees and providing useful advice. They themselves understand the challenges of coming from a single-mother household.

This event is special for pre-nursing student and event organizer Holloway, who has faced financial struggles and emotional turmoil throughout her educational career due to her father’s absence.

“Longing for a father figure pushed me to excel academically,” Holloway said. “I channeled my emotions into my studies, using my education as a means to create a different narrative for myself.”

From the initial idea to its execution, the organizers have been intentional about creating a platform that not only showcases personal journeys but also encourages collective learning and support.

“The idea for this event came from a talk with my friend Kayla. We were sharing stories about being raised by a single parent, and it felt good to have someone who gets it,” she said. “I realized there are probably more FAMU students who feel the same, but don’t have anyone to talk to. It’s a chance for us to support each other and heal together.”

The “Dad, I’m in College Now” event will delve into a range of topics, including the challenges faced by those from single-parent households, the triumphs along the way, and the crucial role of mentorship and support systems. From overcoming financial hardships to navigating emotional complexities, each panelist brings a unique perspective that reflects the resilience and perseverance required to navigate the educational landscape under unique circumstances.

“By sharing these narratives, the event seeks to inspire others, foster a sense of community, and encourage individuals to overcome obstacles on their educational journey,” panelist and psychology major (and liberal arts minor) Mathis said.

Audience engagement is a key component of the event, with organizers encouraging attendees to actively participate in the discussion. The panel will be followed by an interactive Q&A session, providing an opportunity for audience members to seek advice, share their own experiences, and connect with the panelists on a personal level.

“The hope is that attendees who have faced similar circumstances, will find inspiration and guidance in this event, fostering a sense of healing, self-reflection and direction towards accomplishing their academic goals,” Holloway said.

The “Dad, I’m in College Now” panel takes place at 5:30 p.m. Friday in the Polkinghorne Village Multipurpose Room. Organizers Holloway, Mathis, Roberts and Whitt invite everyone to be a part of this empowering discussion and join in the collective journey of breaking barriers while in pursuit of education.