College student Brittany Banks raises three chidren while working in retail.
Brittany Banks is a single mom. She has three children under the age of nine. Money is tight.
"I try to figure out what is more important at the time and that's what I take care of," says Brittany.
Brittany works part-time in retail and devotes the rest of her time to school, work-study and, of course, her three children. She says it's a real balancing act. She has to make sure she has time for her homework and time to go over her children's homework as well.
Brittany is determined to play an active role in her children's education. All three of her kids have been involved in the Head Start program. Brittany likes to establish a relationship with her children's teachers so that she can reinforce what they're learning at school. And, she says she wants to set a good example for them by going after and achieving her education goals. She hopes to have her bachelor's degree within the next year.
"They'll say sometimes, 'mom I'm doing my homework' because they're watching me!'" says Brittany, who studies at Penn State World Campus and Penn State York.
Brittany has seen poverty impact children in her community and their ability to graduate from high school. For her kids there's no choice. She says they will graduate.
"People may just be so caught up in their financial situation where they can't see the light at the end of the tunnel. There are times where it gets really stressful but it's a mental thing. You have to stay focused on what you want in life."
Asim is just 8 years old, but already he has goals for his future. He's currently trying to decide between two careers - one in professional sports or one in the field of technology. Either way, he knows he needs to get good grades in order to achieve his dreams.
He has his mom, Brittany Banks, to thank for that knowledge. She is a single mother of three. It's not always easy. She's a single parent. She struggles financially, but she is working hard to get out of poverty. Currently Brittany is juggling a part-time job, full-time internship and school. She plans to get her Bachelor's Degree from Penn State this fall.
Asim and his younger brother and sister see their mom working hard, and it's rubbing off. Brittany says they can often be found pretending to do work on their play laptop. Asim takes a leading role in his siblings' education as well, helping them with their numbers and modeling good behavior.
Asim and his siblings have all participated in the Head Start program in York. Brittany says it was important to her to get them involved and ready for kindergarten. It appears her efforts are paying off. She says Asim is an excellent student and she believes his future is bright.
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