Kids in College by Valerie Cheers Brown

My life has been always about pleasing and putting on hold when it comes to the family.

I had a love for gymnastics and was put on hold because I had to help take care of my siblings according to my dad. 😉 lol

I always thought I needed a degree to get a better paying job but I found out if you prove to that employer that you can do that job if they will give you a chance, you can get anything in life you want regardless or whenever the time is right for you or what we may or may not have.

A degree is not for everybody and education is most important and I consider myself a lifetime student, therefore no degree needed!

I found that you don’t have to be what everybody else thinks is the right thing but you can be anything you want to do and be in life by being determined and not worrying what others may think.

When I had my daughter in June 25, 1972 it was the most blessed day of my life.

I went through hell in the beginning and was even pushed to give her up for adoption but I didn’t and I am so happy that I have my baby girl still in my life.

We have our ups and downs but when it came to my daughter I struggled.

First, when I got pregnant I was a senior in high school.

Man, did I ever get criticized, belittled, told I was a bad example for the other girls, etc.

But, boy did I show them this was not true and when people tell me I can’t, I show them just how I will and set an example for others too!

Back in the 1970’s there were schools specifically for pregnant girls and I think it was for unwed mothers who were pregnant.  They did not want you amongst the other general population but I refused to be put into a cage and made as if we were a bad influence for others!

I refused to be subjected to this school so I became the very first pregnant student to march across that stage June 9, 1972 at Beaumont and delivered my daughter June 25, 1972.

Not only did I break a vicious cycle, but I also kept breaking rules even when in college in the 1970’s.

I first went to the University of Missouri, UMSL in Saint Louis and I would take my daughter to my lectures as she lie in her bumperseat and she would not cry because she was with me and they did not even know she was there.

I say this to say that to the mother’s out there, we carry our babies for nine months and it is our responsibility to nourish them with breast milk, keep them safe and not let anything happen to them at any time and especially when they can’t even talk yet!

I really do believe that is the reason my daughter as a freshman in high school at Parkway Central was hyped up and always told me, “Mommy I am so ready for college and can’t wait to go,” because I had her in the atmosphere as a baby!

When they are babies they cannot tell us what somebody did to them, so this is why I took her as a baby with me to college. Again, back in the 1970’s this was probably a way to get thrown out of college, but I did it anyway!

If you have babies ladies, ask the colleges if they would mind if you brought your baby to class with you and don’t be afraid of breaking rules if they say no especially when little infants.

We must keep our babies safe at all times until they can know the difference between good touch and bad touch, so keep them with you! It is your responsibility and not a daycare, nanny or even family members, i.e. mother.

Yes, my mom helped me a lot but what happened to me as a baby should not have happened, therefore, I made sure it did not happen to my child.

So ask questions mothers and your baby comes first and God did not intend for us to carry them for nine months to turn around and let somebody babysit them while we work or away from them and they cannot express their feelings when they don’t like something being done to them.

If I had to do all over again, I have grown so much that I would do even a better job with baby number two (2).

I did the very best I could but I must have done something so right and I thank God for my daughter but if she knew half of what I went through, she would realize how much her mother loves and fought for her to be here!

When my daughter graduated and marched across that stage at Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri, May 1994, they called me up on the stage and gave me a recognition certificate which states: “Valerie Brown, on behalf of the Trustees, Faculty and Students of Stephens College, I would like to express my deep appreciation for your dedication and service through the Parent’s Council. ” -Patsy H. Sampson, President May, 1994.

This was one of the most happiest days in my life to see my daughter accomplish what I had and thought I wanted to do, but education means far too much to me to worry about a degree, but I am so happy and proud of my daughter, the strong woman, Director she is and has turned into!

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