A Day in the LifeMarch 09, 2009
Through a 2008–09 AAUW Campus Action Project grant, a team of students and faculty at Shenandoah University in Winchester, Virginia, are addressing issues facing single mothers who want to attend college. Team members have created a website and contribute to a blog aimed at single mothers who are attending or want to attend college. Available on their website is a short documentary about a “day in the life” of one of the CAP team members, junior Michelle Vilandry, who has a five-year-old daughter.
Amy Sarch Schopick, the CAP team adviser and the director of women’s studies at Shenandoah University, said, “I knew from talking with Michelle and having her in class the stress and joys she went through as a single mom and straight-A student. Seeing this on film would just bring all that stress and joy to life.” Paulette Moore, a documentary filmmaker at Shenandoah University, agreed to film one day in Michelle’s life this past January.
“This documentary really gave me a chance to open up to others about what it is like to be a single mother going to college full time,” said Michelle. “Although it is just a glimpse into a typical day, it gives the viewer some understanding of what it is like to juggle multiple responsibilities. It was an extremely positive experience, as it demonstrates to others that college is possible, and that it can be life changing.”
This semester, the CAP team will also present on the challenges and rewards of being a single mother and college student at various events in their local community (with free childcare provided).
Be sure to check out their blog! You can meet Michelle, Amy, and other members of the Shenandoah CAP team at the National Conference for College Women Student Leaders in June, where they will join all the 2008-09 CAP teams in presenting on their projects.