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Moms and Majors: A safe space for student parents on campus

Yaretsy Hernandez is a senior majoring in rehabilitation science and is the founder of Mom’s and Majors, a new organization that focuses on the importance of UTEP students and parents. Photo courtesy of Yaretsy Hernandez

Juggling a full-time job, university, and parenting can take a large toll on many UTEP students. Though the daycares and babysitters do help, many parents may need to bring their kids to class as there may not be another option. 

Yaretsy Hernandez, a senior majoring in rehabilitation science is the founder of the organization. She is a full-time parent with a son turning two years old and manages to also work, go to school, and run a student organization. Her trials and tribulations made her more determined as a student and a parent. 

“My pregnancy was really tough,” Hernandez said. “It was kind of spontaneous and by preference I wanted to keep the baby, but I also knew that I was also too young, and I also didn’t want to stop coming to school.” 

Even through this, Hernandez stayed determined to stay in school and push through to earn her degree. Moms and Majors is an organization focusing on the importance of UTEP students who are parents. The group started back in 2022 when the founder Hernandez had the idea of running her organization. The idea of empowering other student parents by being one herself. 

Hernandez then met Krystal Valdez;and both collaborated to create a new environment for parents to feel less alone. 

“I didn’t know where to fit in any of the other student organizations because all these other student organizations have really strict policies, and I have some responsibilities that no other student has or they might have, but I couldn’t really assimilate to them,” Hernandez said. 

This organization brings in parents from diverse communities to share their experiences of raising a child while in school. The group members can share advice and give a hand to one another when the struggles of life come into play. 

“We like to focus on becoming a safe space for parents, dads, moms, and family caretakers to join us in this journey called life,” Hernandez said. 

The organization has partnered up with many organizations from UTEP such as Por Mi Familia to share the resources they offer. 

“I know most of our members, they don’t have childcare services or family even here on campus to help them with their kids,” Hernandez said. “They bring them to school because I see that they want to continue with their major.” 

Members are allowed to bring their kids to the meetings so that they can bond with one another just as the parents get to learn from one another. The experience and opportunities they share allow them to understand the struggles of parenthood while also being able to lean on one another. 

During the semester, the organization hosted a baby and me photoshoot for the parents that are involved in the group. 

“Incorporating our children to come on campus and see that, this could also be their home,” Hernandez said. “They can look up to us and also for them to further their education as well.” 

Moms and Majors is open to any parent at UTEP who has a 2.5-grade point average and attend one of the two meetings monthly.  

For more information visit @momsnmajors on Instagram. 

Avery Escamilla-Wendell is the staff reporter and may be reached at [email protected] or on Instagram @by_avery_escamilla.

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About the Contributor
Avery Escamilla-Wendell
Avery Escamilla-Wendell, Arts & Culture Editor
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Moms and Majors: A safe space for student parents on campus