Young woman smiles at camera

Balancing Parenting and Education

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By Kenzie Joachimi

Freshman Keanne Savage is a young mother majoring in speech pathology at Oakland. She hopes to work with special needs children. Working with children is her passion. She worked as a nanny for a disabled child. She says her greatest achievement is balancing her life as a student and her life as a mother.

Describe the members of your family and your relationship with them. 

My dad and I are very close and he’s someone I look up to. I’m also close with my mom, who has always sacrificed herself for her kids. I’m very thankful for her. I have two older siblings, Isaac and Celine. My brother Isaac is my role model, along with my sister Celine. However, I’m closest with my youngest brother Blaise, since Isaac and Celine are away at college. In addition, I have a 6-month-old son named Braxton. He’s the sweetest boy and he motivates me to be the best version of myself. Overall, I have great relationships with my family.

What important experiences have you shared with your family?

One of the most recent obstacles we have faced was last year. During my senior year of high school, I found out I was pregnant. When I was 17 years-old, Braxton was born. My parents were disappointed, and my siblings were in shock when I told them I was pregnant. The journey was tough, but we got through it together. I come from a very Catholic family, so, with God, our wounds were healed. The past six months with Braxton have been new, but we have worked hard to heal the relationships with one another.

How has your life changed since you’ve had a child?

Honestly, Braxton has changed my family’s life for the better. He ended up becoming a wonderful blessing in our lives. Balancing being a mother and being a student is really important to me. I always make sure that Braxton comes first, because he’s my priority. I make sure to feed him, change his diaper, and keep him happy, so that I’m able to complete my school work. I know that a higher education will provide a better life for the both of us and I just want him to have a bright future.

Taking advantage of time is important, so I always try and stay a week ahead when it comes to homework and studying. I’m grateful for all the help my mom gives me, so I’m able to receive a higher education. Without her, I feel like this new lifestyle wouldn’t be possible.

Young woman smiles at camera
Keanne Savage poses in South Foundation Hall on Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2019. Photo credit: Kenzie Joachimi.

Do you think there is a stigma when it comes to young mothers? If so, what do you think about it?

I do think there is a stigma against young mothers, but I also think that it’s getting better. Most people think that if you’re a young mother, you sleep around or don’t come from a good family. That may be true in some cases, but not [in] all. I don’t really get offended by it, because, before I was a teen mom, I thought the same thing. My mindset changed after I realized that it can happen to anyone, including myself. Overall, I believe that it’s important to ask people about their story before making an assumption about their life.

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