Summit gives support to group of student-parentsBy Alessandra Delrose | 02/25/2015 7:38pm
Jade Watters, seen with her two children, came up with the idea for the Baby Shower Empowerment Summit event. Photo Courtesy of Jade Watters
According to The University of Alabama’s Graduate Parent Support Program, over 24 percent of college students across the country have or are expecting a child. Throughout the last 10 years, this population of student-parents has been on the rise.
The University currently has 3,000 student-parents enrolled this semester. Jade Watters, a graduate student and part of the Graduate Parent Support Program, is also a mother of two children.
In 2014 Watters did a survey for the GPS program to find out how the graduate program was fitting students’ needs.
“One of the things that came back was graduate students who were pregnant or had a child felt under supported,” she said. “I felt like we needed to increase the tangible resources the student-parents had as well as the education about how they can move forward. So I sat down with my supervisor, Dr. Cori Perdue, and we came up with the idea for the Baby Shower Empowerment Summit event.”
Watters said the event has two parts. One will serve as the traditional baby shower and the second will be an empowerment summit to help students who may need encouragement in their educational goals.
“Anyone can come to this event, whether you are in the category of student- parent or not,” she said.
Perdue said she is also excited for this upcoming event.
“We cannot wait to help host the first annual student parent Baby Shower and Empowerment Summit,” she said. “This event aims to celebrate, help empower, encourage, and support students who are beginning a new and important role. We want to let them know that they can be successful students and parents at UA.”
The Baby Shower Empowerment Summit will take place Friday at 11 a.m. in the Child Development Research Center.