PAC receives 2023 FamilyU Seal for exemplary support to parenting students
September 27, 2023
Palo Alto College has been recognized as a 2023 FamilyU Seal recipient, a distinction that celebrates institutions committed to providing exceptional support to parenting students. This award is presented by Generation Hope, a nonprofit dedicated to ensuring all student parents have the opportunities to succeed and experience economic mobility.
“We understand the challenges that come with balancing family life and higher education, but with the right resources and guidance, anything is possible. We are immensely proud to receive the 2023 FamilyU Seal, as it highlights our unwavering commitment to creating an environment where all students, regardless of their family responsibilities, can thrive academically and personally,” said Dr. Robert Garza, president of Palo Alto College.
According to Fall 2022 enrollment data, about 21% of Palo Alto College’s student body comprises parents, and the institution has taken significant strides in ensuring their success.
One of the College’s standout initiatives is the provision of childcare services, easing the burden on student parents by ensuring that their children receive quality care while they attend classes and focus on their education.
In addition to childcare, Palo Alto College offers advocacy services through its S.H.A.R.E. Center. Services like the Career Closet and Diaper Program address the unique challenges that parenting students face.
Roxanne Contreras, a PAC 2022 graduate and mother of four, found the support she needed to succeed through the advocacy services at the College. She credits the S.H.A.R.E. Center for helping her achieve her goals.
“Having resources on campus helped tremendously because I didn’t have to search different places for assistance. This saved me time and allowed me to focus on my studies because I didn’t have to worry about basic necessities at home,” said Contreras. “Without the support of the S.H.A.R.E. Center, it would have taken me longer to get to where I am today. I earned my associate degree and am now working toward my bachelor’s degree.”
Scholarship opportunities are also available specifically for parenting students. These scholarships empower parents to pursue their educational goals without the added stress of financial constraints.
Recognizing the importance of family life and community engagement, PAC hosts various family-friendly events like PACfest, Palomino Pumpkin Patch, and Winter Wonderland, to name a few. These events allow parents to bond with their children, network with other student parents, and enjoy a welcoming atmosphere.
The higher education institutions and nonprofit organizations selected for the 2023 FamilyU Seal were evaluated in accordance with the framework of Generation Hope’s FamilyU program, which works to build a more inclusive and supportive higher education ecosystem for student parents.
To learn more about the 2023 FamilyU Seal program, please visit www.generationhope.org/familyu-seal.