#Performing her work as a mother and at the same time studying was a difficult balance to maintain for #Itzel #Ramírez #Tapia, but it became a challenge when the pandemic transformed her education and that of her daughter.
#Samantha, 5, required almost constant attention and helping her navigate the new world of distance learning
#Ramírez spent mornings and afternoons supervising his daughter’s homework, before pursuing his own virtual studies with the #University of #Texas at #Dallas.
#Most of the time the girl was already asleep when her mother caught up with her classes and did her research at night, but even asleep in another room, #Samantha’s presence was the motivation that #Ramírez needed at 3 a.m.
“#My daughter’s life is going to be very different thanks to all the effort, sacrifice and hard work,” #Ramírez said.
“#Knowing that I have a living being that literally depends on me and what I do has always been my great motivation.”
#Ramírez #Tapia, 30, belongs to the covid-19 generation of college students, a group whose last semesters were marked by disruptions and stress caused by the pandemic.
They can’t celebrate together at graduation ceremonies, but they are united by the common challenges they had to overcome to get to this moment.
#In that group there are many fathers and mothers like #Ramírez and #Ruba #Kuzbari, who had to adapt to their own classes while taking care of their children.
#Kuzbari, another fall semester graduate at UT-Dallas, was also inspired by her daughters to persist in the past few months.
#He enrolled in college in 2018 to study public affairs with the goal of founding his own non-profit organization.
#One of his daughters had already graduated from college, and the other was taking classes on the same campus, and they sometimes crossed paths in the hallways on their way to the next class.
“#Sometimes she would wait for me to leave class to introduce myself to her friends,” says #Kuzbari, 45.
“It was very nice that she motivated me. I feel like I dedicated my whole life to my daughters, and now they try to reward me and encourage me, to do what I did for them ”.
#Kuzbari recently discovered another type of inspiration in his daughters.
#He saw two of his daughters enter the medical field during the pandemic, one as a student and one as a radiology resident.
#As her own bewilderment with e-learning diminished, #Kuzbari took advantage of her little free time to support her children and her husband, who is a cardiologist.
#He reached out to his restaurant connections and secured donations for emergency personnel and essential workers.
The moment that fills her most with pride was seeing 9,000 meals donated to hospitals to lift the spirits of tired healthcare professionals.
The last few months of work reinforced his desire to found a non-profit organization after graduation.
#He does not know exactly in which area yet, as he has always oscillated between his love of humanitarian work and his taste for education.
“When I volunteer with the homeless, I feel like I’m passionate about that,” #Kuzbari said.
“#And when I go to (my son’s) school and I help on the athletic committee, and I help build the school, I feel like, oh no, I’m passionate about that … #Every time I volunteer, I feel like there’s a lot of need” .
#Kuzbari will continue his studies next spring with a master’s degree in the same field, giving him more time to decide which area to pursue in the future.
#Ramírez #Tapia does not end his studies at UT-Dallas either.
#She’s already signed up for a #Ph.D. and sees herself crossing the stage as a graduate in five years.
#In the long nights and early mornings of quarantine, #Ramírez imagined himself in his cap and gown, holding his diploma before the proud gaze of his daughter and parents.
#In that dream, #Ramírez and his parents are always sobbing with excitement.
“I got the emotional from them,” he acknowledged.
#She is the first in the family to graduate from college, but she knows the celebration was simply postponed, not permanently canceled.
#Ramírez has been studying for as long as his daughter lives.
#Samantha was already born when her mother enrolled at #North #Central #Texas #College to study business administration.
The girl witnessed her mother’s desire for progress when she took an elective class in computer science and was excited about her new field of study.
#He also watched as his mother finished her associate degree and transferred to UT-Dallas to continue her studies.
#When #Ramírez finishes studying, #Samantha will be 10 years old, and all her life will have accompanied her mother’s career in higher education.
“#Maybe he doesn’t quite understand what is coming in the next five years,” #Ramírez said half-jokingly, noting that he may not know what a doctorate in computer science is.
“#But in the end she will be able to say that her mother is a doctor, and that she can become one too.”
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