The Faces of The Mount
Major: American Studies & Art major
GIS & Ethnic Studies minor
“When I graduated in 2006, I was living this really played out idea of what a South LA girl looked like. I did a lot of unhealthy things and made plenty of mistakes. All of these things, they weren’t in alignment with my soul and I pushed myself back to a better place. That push was having my sons. I couldn’t bullshit anymore. I couldn’t slack off like I used to. I had people to care for. My whole sense of identity changed the moment I became a mother.
I started off as a Weekend College student, but things began to change for me, personally, during the first two semesters and that’s when I decided to transition into Traditional College. My sons’ father is not in their lives and I suppose not having any guides about how to raise boys in a patriarchal world as a single mother prompted me to look to educational sources for help. Even though their dad isn’t around, I was the one who chose to have children and I needed to be the responsible parent.
To some people it may seem backwards, choosing to be a full-time student while raising two boys, but I needed it. I wanted me being in school to inspire my sons as they grow older; I wanted this version of me to be what inspired them to go to school. My eldest son, Nathan, is 6, and my youngest son, Evan, is 4. Right now, I’m teaching them Spanish and French. It’s important for them to know their history and where their parents come from. They need to know the history of their ancestors.
As privileged, brown boys, there will always be political and social issues working against them. So I want them to be able to navigate the world confidently. I want them to follow their hearts and explore what’s before them. I mean, that confidence is what lead me here. I have help from my mom and I’m very lucky to have that. But this is what I chose to be and no matter what happens, it’s very rewarding to be a mother and a student. I have a sense of ambition that I never thought I would have.
My boys, they are my real inspiration. I wake up, see them smiling and I know I’m on the right track.”
Maria would also like to give thanks to Mount Saint Mary’s University and her friends for offering her the emotional assistance and guidance throughout the past few years. She is indebted to your support.