Misericordia is one of eight educational institutions in the United States that offers a program to support single mothers while they pursue a degree. Communications major Felicia M. Glover is a participant in the Ruth Matthews Bourger Women With Children program, and in the following interview, she shares her story.
Q: How did you first hear about the Ruth Matthews Bourger Women With Children Program?
A: In 2010 I found out I was pregnant with my second child. Times were very hard! At the time my kids’ dad left, I knew if I was going to take care of my children, I needed to get my education–fast. I was working full-time during my pregnancy, which was strenuous while my baby was developing. Once I had my baby the stress of having a newborn and raising a toddler on my own started to take a toll on me. I started to Google programs for single mothers wanting to go back to school. Misericordia’s program immediately popped up, and I felt excited and blessed. I applied, and the process took two years, but in March of 2013, I was accepted.
Q: Is there anyone specific in the program you’d like to acknowledge?
A: Sister Jean Messaros. She has opened a lot of doors and has helped me change my life in ways I never thought possible. She accepted me; she made me feel really special and wanted me to feel at home. When I came to Misericordia, I was lost and confused and I needed direction. Sister Jean made this all possible: for me to grow and become a better woman.
Q: Tell me about your two awesome sons.
A: Deandre is nine years old, and Devin is four. I am proud of my sons—in the past few years we have been through so much, transitioning from one city to a totally different state. They also went through the transition of their dad leaving. Deandre is a basketball fanatic! Anything—and I mean anything—about the sport intrigues him. He aspires to be an NBA superstar after he graduates from UCLA. Devin is what I like to call my little power ranger. He loves superheroes and helping me clean up. Devin is a traditional little brother in that he spends his days bothering Deandre, just like a baby brother is supposed to. The boys are sweet children and I am proud to be their mom.
Q: Tell me about your life/jobs prior to enrolling at Misericordia.
A: Before I came to Misericordia, I worked as a dental assistant for several different companies, and then I started working for the Department of the Navy, as a dental assistant in the civilian sector. I worked crazy hours, and with little sleep. I worked so hard and learned so much working for the government, which was a great lesson to learn before coming here. All my prior experiences in the workforce helped prepare me for the hard work of earning a college degree.
Q: How did the application process go for you? Were there challenges to overcome?
A: When I first started the application process, I was scared and wanted to give up. I was denied and I was so discouraged. I reapplied and I became even more discouraged because I didn't hear anything for a few months. I finally got a call back from an admissions counselor who was sweet and helped me along the way. Not only Sister Jean, but my Navy team stood behind me throughout the process. I had a few Navy chiefs, captains, and other high-ranking individuals who believed in me as one of their civilians and encouraged me daily to achieve my goals and obtain my degree.
Q: How do your sons like living here? What kinds of activities do they do around the Misericordia campus?
A: The boys enjoy living in the house with the other children. They play, eat, sleep and grow all under one roof! Deandre is the oldest child living in the house, and with that comes responsibility. He tends to look after the other children. Devin is the youngest boy in the house so he looks at the younger girls as sisters. One of the most rewarding things to see daily is the amount of love and affection you witness from the children. They genuinely love each other and it’s adorable. Around campus, the boys enjoy running the most. The luscious green fields make it impossible for them not to take advantage of a good sprint from one building to the next. We eat on campus some nights when I don't feel like cooking. The boys utilize the basketball court in the Anderson Center. They also take swimming lessons and learn basic skills that they need to play safely in the pool—all through the generosity of Misericordia’s swim team.
Q: Tell me about your journey as a student at Misericordia.
A: My time here has been a learning experience like no other. I am learning a lot about myself and my children. When I first got here I was a young mother, I was accustomed to doing everything for myself. Now I have the support of the university and I mean the University. Professors, staff members, and all other supporting staff have been amazing. Anything I need assistance with, anything at all, the school support is there. I remember a time when I first came to Misericordia and I had the hardest time logging into the online resources. A young lady who worked for campus IT on the third floor of Mercy Hall, welcomed me into her office, and was very helpful. She showed me, step-by-step, how to log into the computers. She even helped me get my login information. That experience was one of many that make me feel like Misericordia doesn't treat me like a number, but like the person I am—I matter here!
Q: What kind of job are you hoping to secure once you graduate?
A: Once I graduate I plan to open a public relations (PR) firm and also become a public speaker. PR is fascinating. I like TV production also. If I could produce a show at some point—I know it’s a lot of work—but I would love to try. But being in charge of a company's PR department seems like a great start for me. I like just about everything in communications field, but those two (PR and public speaking) are my top choices.
Q: When you get some well-deserved time off, what would you like to do—what would be a dream vacation?
A: My dream vacation is to take my children and my mom to Disney world. They mean the world to me and to see them happy will make me happy. I would also like to take an all-girls trip with my sister, mom, and myself, to a Caribbean island. I want to experience the blue water, the amazing cuisine, and the tropical surroundings. I believe all three of us deserve a good trip and what better two gals to spend it with. I’m big on family staying together and loving each other. My mom and sister has been two of my biggest supporters. Not one day goes by and I don't talk to one or both of them. To have them next to me, while sipping a cool island beverage, would be priceless.
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About the author (and interviewer): Rachel Urbanowicz, MA, is an assistant professor of Communications at Misericordia University.
Learn more about the Ruth Matthews Bourger Women with Children Program at Misericordia University.