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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.

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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