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WEB EXTRA: Meet a Single Parent Scholarship Fund Recepient

Amy Russell is a mom of three and a Political Science major at the University of Arkansas. When she's done with school, she hopes to teach Civics, Social Studies and History to Junior High School students. The Single Parent Scholarship Fund(SPSF) features profiles of moms like Amy every month. Read more HERE.


From the SPSF blog, Amy shares a little bit about being a student and mother:

What does receiving a SPSF NWA scholarship mean to you?

AMY: Being a scholarship recipient is so integral to my family and myself for myriad reasons. First, it is a source of inspiration and excitement when I get that letter in the mail. I wait until we’re all together and weopen it and see that you have assigned worth to my goals. We jump up and down squealing and the kids know that I have support and approval for my endeavors in school that will help ease some of the financial pressure we experience throughout the semester. Sometimes its the difference between paying rent, keeping the lights and water on, sometimes it aids us in taking care of medical bills. (Pragmatics, I know, but these things stress this mama out when we’re barely scraping by!) But most of all, it makes a difference to our family in that we can focus on each other and know that we are worth something to an organization that openly wants us to succeed. I let them know how important that letter is, and we try to be involved in events during the year to pay it forward.


Where do you like to hang out with your family in NWA?

AMY: My older kids are video game enthusiasts, and we spend time together at Arkadia Retrocade. It is an arcade with old console games from the 80s and 90s so its a blast from the past for me and a fun safe place to hang/geek out.



Something I would like to do but haven’t had time lately:

AMY: I really miss painting and writing poetry. I don’t have any mental energy to do it, nor do I have room in our apartment to spread out my projects so one of these days when my brain is free to create again, I hope to have the opportunity to get back into it. On the poetry front, I would like to present my prose at a poetry slam but having three kids, it isn’t possible as the venues are at coffee shops, bookstores, or bars and requires I secure childcare at night which is problematic.


Favorite time of the day

AMY: I love walking on campus by myself, every time I am there I feel the sense that it is exactly where I am supposed to be and it is such a beautiful place. (Even while parts of it are perpetually under construction.) After a few-years hiatus before returning to complete my degree, I appreciate every second I participate in getting closer to earning that ever-elusive piece of paper.



Biggest challenges

AMY: For me, I experience the dichotomy of parenting a teen, a tween, and a toddler. Each age brings with it its own demands on my patience and attention, and it is hard to keep up sometimes. It also means that I have to work extremely hard to be consistent in different ways, to meet their needs, which is hard to keep my head straight on what is appropriate for each child. This year, I have instituted a behavior contract for my oldest so that I can give him opportunities to do the right thing while having a plan of action for myself for those inevitable moments when he chooses not to. There is never a dull moment, for sure!



Something I do not leave home without

AMY: I absolutely cannot function without my day planner! It is an extension of my brain and things like appointments and deadlines are lost on me unless it is WRITTEN DOWN. It annoys me that I must rely on an inanimate object for my life to go smoothly but it is the difference between anxiety or calm in my brain. I’m cramming so much into it already, I just don’t have room for those extemporaneous bits of intel.

Read more about Amy HERE.
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