Emotional and Academic Awakening
Imagine looking after runny noses, packing lunches, helping with homework, reading bedtime stories and completing a university degree all at the same time.
As a single mother of two young children, Jane Stephen had her hands full while attending Saint Mary’s to complete a degree in Religious Studies. But she didn’t let this deter her. A scholarship recipient, Jane graduated with summa cum laude and was accepted into the social work program at the Maritime School of Social Work.
She was never alone in her journey and this made the difference. “As a mature student with two young children, I received incredible support and encouragement from my professors and this meant a great deal to me,” says Jane. “The relationships and bonds I formed with other students, women who were also mature students and mothers, were important. We shared our experiences, the joys and difficulties of going to school and raising our children at the same time.”
Jane is originally from Saint John, New Brunswick and is currently in her second year of social work. She spent 14 years volunteering with the cooperative housing association in developing and maintaining community-based housing for low to middle income families. She served as a member of the board of directors, and other committees. So it is no surprise that Jane wants to get involved in social action and advocacy work when she graduates this fall. She is particularly interested in women’s issues and child poverty.
She encourages others to consider Religious Studies. She says the program allows students an opportunity to explore and develop knowledge of a broad range of subjects.
Jane credits much of her success to her time at Saint Mary’s. “It was a time of intellectual awakening for me. It opened up new possibilities and choices in my life. It’s a wonderful department with professors who are dedicated, inspirational and supportive.”
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