What’s It Like to Be a Single Parent in School?

“I don’t know how she does it” is a phrase that can easily apply to alumna Anna King, who graduated in May with a bachelor’s degree in human resources—along with significant experience in juggling her time.

As an eighteen-year-old freshman, King found out she was pregnant. She resolved to finish her degree while raising her child as a single mother. Her son, Grant, who turned three in August, was born just before the beginning of her sophomore year. She dropped to part-time status for a semester and then returned to full-time study, also fitting in summer classes, internships, and a part-time job. Her GPA at graduation? An impressive 3.7.

Finding time to study was the greatest challenge, she says: “I pretty much narrowed it down to studying only after he went to bed for the night, so I could focus time at home on him.” She planned out her schedule of tests and assignments, as well as doctors’ appointments and other events, weeks in advance.

King is quick to express gratitude for the help she’s received. “I am so blessed,” she says, “and I would not have been able to accomplish any of this without my faith in God and those who love and support me.”

Part of that support came from someone King had never met before—author, lifestyle consultant, and television host Moll Anderson, who in 2010 established the Moll Anderson Endowed Scholarship for single parents pursuing business degrees.

“Mrs. Anderson’s generosity has eased my financial burden, allowing me to better focus on my son and my studies,” King says.

With several job offers in the weeks following graduation, King found the best fit in Lenoir City, Tennessee, with Sterling Global Operations. The setting may have changed, but the same determination that got her though school is still firmly in place. “Being a mother changed my attitude about what’s important,” King says.

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