A foundation of family support

For many college students, working while earning a diploma takes a good amount of perseverance. For those with the added responsibility of parenthood, it can be even more challenging. 

Fortunately for Green River Community College students, Children’s Home Society of Washington’s Green River Child Development Center (GRCDC) bridges the gap for student parents by offering high-quality child care and educational services. 

“With their children being cared for close-by, Green River students can fully focus on their studies,” said GRCDC Director Sandy Cameron. 

With GRCDC’s help, student Dawn Stockton laid a foundation of success for her three children: Xavier, 12; Lailah, 9 and Sebastian, 5.

As a single mother, Dawn was juggling the role of caretaker, student and employee. Like many parents with multiple demands, something had to give for Dawn. 

“I wasn’t really dedicated to school as a first-time mom,” she said. 

While raising Xavier and Lailah, Dawn marked her 10-year anniversary at a local company that awards its decade-long staffers with a sabbatical of up to one year. Dawn’s sabbatical coincided with the birth of Sebastian, adding an additional three-month maternity leave to her break. 

During her time off, Dawn realized that she wanted to move her career into another direction. At her mother’s suggestion, Dawn enrolled in GRCC to pursue a degree in nursing, and her children attended GRCDC. There, the family became close with the staff and faculty, who provided encouragement, support, meals and even hugs. 

Having graduated in August, Dawn is now working toward earning a bachelor’s in nursing and hopes to become a forensic nurse. Xavier is now a seventh grader, Lailah is getting straight A’s in her fourth-grade class and Sebastian is flourishing in kindergarten. 

“They’re all doing really great in school…” said Dawn. “All of these things are a reflection of the support they have received from home and school.”