Patty’s Story: A Newly Single Mom Says Her Children Make Her Brave
Making It On Her Own As A Single Mom
When Patty moved to Pueblo in 2005, she immediately felt at home and knew it would be a great place to raise her family. “I like the sunshine in Pueblo very much and people are very friendly here,” she said. She and her husband had two young children, and she thought her dreams had come true.
“I knew I was made to be a mother. By 25 years old, I knew I wanted to be married and have children. And it worked – almost,” she said of her family. “I am a single mom now. But thinking back, I had been a single mom for a long time.”
I believe my children make me brave
It was her children who made her leave in 2017. “They said Mommy, it’s time to go,” said Patty, now 44 years old. “I believe my children make me brave.”
Patty and the kids stayed with a family friend for 10 months while she saved money for their new life.
“My friend said pack what you need, and we’ll take you in,” said Patty. “So my children and I moved in with them.” She was grateful for the support during the difficult transition. “I had to learn what it was to have an electricity bill. The whole budgeting process is very new to me because I had no access or overview to it at all.”
A degree offers new promise and possibilities
Eventually, Patty, her 17-year-old daughter, and her 16-year-old son moved into a small apartment in Pueblo. She started working part-time for a counselor as an office manager. She realized she could do everything but the medical coding.
The decision to go back to school happened quickly. She enrolled in Pueblo Community College’s health information technology (HIT) program. With PCC’s help, and her associates degree within reach, the future once again seems promising.
“I never thought I’d end up in the medical field in any way,” she said. “A degree in health information technology will be a big plus in our lives. I see that there’s so many opportunities in HIT, which I didn’t know when I signed up. I thought it was only medical coding. But there’s management support, there’s network security.”
A single mom succeeding through PCC’s DualStar Project
Pueblo Community College’s DualStar Project helps women – many of them find single moms – find careers in health information technology. PCC is one of 15 direct-service providers that received a grant from The Women’s Foundation in 2019. WFCO’s funding provides emergency funds or scholarship dollars if a student can’t pay rent or afford child care so they can stay in the program.
Single mothers have low rates of college degree attainment. They often face significant financial and time-related obstacles that make it difficult for them to persist to graduation.
However, Patty isn’t worried. With the support of PCC and The Women’s Foundation, she plans to graduate in fall 2020, but will walk in the summer when her children will also graduate with high school and associates degrees.
“My children are very proud of how far we have come, the three of us,” said Patty.