I got a phone call from my children’s school one morning, asking me to pick up my 6-year-old son because he had an anger outburst at school. He was screaming, kicking the desk, and trying to flee the classroom. From the teacher’s perspective, the cause of the outburst seemed to stem from a crayon being broken, and this behavior was highly irregular. Only adding to the confusion was that it was my twin boys’ birthday that day. Once we had signed out and were walking back to the car in silence, I asked him how he was feeling. He immediately broke down in tears and said, “Why did daddy have to go to Japan?” My heart shattered in that moment.
My husband had left for Japan the day before. While this is nothing new for me, having experienced four deployments and countless weeks where my husband has been on travel, this was entirely new for our young children, who had only experienced his absence at an age that they would not remember. Adults are capable of handling their emotions (for the most part.)
As military spouses, we are the ones that pick up the pieces when our spouse deploys, taking full responsibility of both parental roles, the home, work and school commitments, and the needs of our children. The emotional burden is at times overwhelming, especially when you see how it impacts your child, and absolutely nothing you can say or do will give them the comfort that their deployed parent would.
I cannot put into words how difficult it is be a pseudo-single parent, when you normally have the support of your spouse every day. The tears that well up when your child realizes that their parent won’t be there to celebrate a birthday or attend their sporting events, or their inability to sleep at night for fear that something will happen to their parent. This complex life adds tremendous stress to our military children.
There is so much that we can learn as a support role in the field of education and positively impact our students. April was dedicated as the month of the military child, and it deserves to be celebrated. There are so many ways that we can support these resilient children, many ways that we can learn and grow as educators.
We invite all National University students that are entering the field of education to join our student organization.
April 15 -Wear purple on Purple Up Day – Wearing purple is a visible way for everyone to show support and thank military youth for their strength and sacrifices.
USO San Diego has established many programs designed for military children to connect with each other and thrive in their surrounding community. Please check out their website for valuable events and resources. MilKid Club • USO San Diego
Veteran Center @ NU- As a National University student and military spouse, I have found the Veteran’s Center an incredible resource both virtually, and in person. Please check out their webpage here: Veteran Center | National University (nu.edu)
“Women’s History Month is important to me because it is a specified time during the year, in which we take time to acknowledge both contemporary women of our day and others throughout history who are important role models that have exemplified strength, dignity, passion for their ideals and, in many cases, have served as leaders in working for the advancement of others.”—Maria M.
In honor of Women’s History Month, we asked members of student organizations about the importance of this month, the women who inspire them, and what they want to bring to future generations of women.
Join us in celebrating Women’s History Month!
Wed., March 24–Women’s History Game Night @5:30 p.m., hosted by Pride@NU. Register here.
Thurs., March 25–Women’s History Student/Alumni Experience Panel. Register here.
Educators’ United–Maria M. (M.Ed. with SS Cred-Spanish ’21); Sonya F. (M.Ed., Special Education, Mild/Moderate); Teresa C. (M.Ed., Multiple Subject Teaching Credential).
OMEGA NU–Kelsey Kennedy, US Veteran-Navy (BS, Public Health); Stephanie Beck (MS, School Psychology)
Aliyah:It is a time to remember the women before us who have paved the way for us to have the freedoms we have today.
Natalie:Many strong women have paved the way for the rest of us. It’s important to take time and recognize it. Women’s History Month is a reminder to all of us that when we celebrate the achievements and lives of other women, we make a profound statement of love and unity.
Stephanie: Women’s History Month is important to me because it is dedicated to celebrating the accomplishments of women. Currently, a few well-known women are occasionally name-dropped in the U.S. History classes. This sends a message that women’s accomplishments are secondary, even though many pivotal roles were just not credited, and many opportunities were also not given to women.
By recognizing the many accomplishments in women’s history month, it not only provides a more well-rounded historical education, but it also paints a picture for the future generation, where women are valued, and girls are encouraged to reach their goals. Women’s History Month is a symbol of change for the future, where women are seen as equally important to everyone, rather than secondary.
Teresa: I’m one of four daughters. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve shared this fact about my life and received the response “Your poor Dad!” When I was younger, I didn’t really understand the sentiment, but as I got older, I realized it meant they thought it was a bad thing – that my dad was deserving of sympathy because he didn’t have a son. I had three beautiful older sisters to help me navigate life, and I just couldn’t see that as a bad thing. They helped me steer clear of mistakes they once made, supported me when I wanted to try something new, and comforted me in times of trouble. They set a shining example for me of what a sisterhood should look like.
What do you hope to contribute to future generations of women?
Maria: As an aspiring secondary school educator of the Spanish language, I hope to contribute my passion and appreciation for the subject matter to students through a multifaceted lens that acknowledges the importance of the diversity of all of my students, their histories, and that of the world around them. My hope is that I can support and inspire my students to respect and acknowledge the importance of our diverse world through their learning of Spanish language and culture.
Kelsey: I want to be able to guide the younger generation, like my two very own little girls. I want to be able to make sure they understand that their dreams can become goals and those goals can be achieved. I don’t want them to think that society’s label of what a woman should be is something that should define you. No one can define you but yourself. No one can stop you, but yourself. I want to be able to contribute to the growth of our future through guidance and encouragement to those who do not quite know what it really means to be a woman and the struggles you may face.
Kiarra: I hope to influence future generations of women by showing them that anything is possible when you put yourself first.
Sonya: For future generations of women, I hope to guide them through the knowledge of internal strength.Encourage them to voice their opinions and speak up for what they feel is right. Show them the benefit of staying true to oneself and not sacrificing who you are for anyone. For if you feel the need to sacrifice yourself, you are denying the true essence of who you are, and who you are is unique and beautiful in every aspect of the word.
Breanna:My hope for future generations of women is that even in our lack of certain privileges, we remember to be inclusive of all who identify as women. My personal contribution to this hope will be evident in my practice as a future LMFT as well as in my daily life. As a woman who happens to be raising a child, one of my greatest goals in this lifetime is to raise my son to be empathetic, inclusive, and progressive. Although younger generations such as ours have progressed past certain toxic ideologies and are more educated on women’s issues, I do not doubt that the generations to come after us will progress even more. Topics such as gender awareness, correct use of pronouns, and inclusive representation are just a few of the essentials of which our society seems to be growing increasingly aware.
Natalie:I hope to inspire my daughter to work hard and fight for what she believes in.I am pursuing a second career and a college degree while in my 40s. I am juggling motherhood, a household, and a college student simultaneously. My message to my daughter and other young women is to have confidence in yourself and know that it is never too late to pursue your dreams. We are strong and resilient and can persevere even when roadblocks get in our way. All women can inspire others to speak up, dream, and love themselves.
Steph: As a student in the M.S. in School Psychology with PPS Credential program, I aspire to be a school psychologist that helps with the emotional and social issues of girls that are pushed down by sexist societal views. I hope to contribute to future generations of women by encouraging them to reach their goals and inspire them to have a voice, a passion, and a strong-lit fire in their hearts to advocate for their needs and the needs of others.
Which women in your life inspire you?
Breanna:My mother is also the main person who inspires me to chase after my academic goals. She was an adult learner who entered college very late in her life, starting at the age of 40. She had two kids whom she was raising alone and still found the drive within her to go after her academic goals. Seeing her put her education first, despite numerous obstacles, proved to me that anything is possible if you are willing to prioritize it and ask for help.
Natalie: Is it a cliché to say my mom inspires me? Well, it’s true. My mom is a loving, supportive, and determined person. She grew up not having a great relationship with her own mom. That relationship drove her to be better, different. My mom was determined to have a loving, open, supportive relationship with her children. She didn’t always agree with our choices, but she was our biggest encourager. Her love and kindness push me to be a better mom.
Kiarra:My mother influenced me to pursue my education as she did in her Sociology studies. I learned how to remain confident in myself. Success was everything my mother embodied and that is why she inspires me.
Teresa:My mother is also a huge inspiration for us, encouraging us to do things together as sisters and enrolling me in Girl Scouts so I could be around other girls my age as we learned practical life skills. My mother and sisters are my greatest allies. They keep me grounded when I need guidance and lift me up when I need support. As I matured, I surrounded myself with a sisterhood of strong women. Their guidance and kindness shaped me into the person I am today.
Stephanie:My mom, Young, continuously inspires me to achieve my dream of being a school psychologist. When I was a child, she sacrificed her dreams to take care of my brother and I. Thus, my mission to contribute to future generations of women doesn’t just start with me, it started with my mom. Through her selflessness, it is my goal to contribute to future generations of women by encouraging them to reach their goals by being an advocate, a resource, and hopefully an inspiration.
Kelsey: My mother, who has never had anything handed to her, was always told she wasn’t enough, still pushed through and raised me to her best ability as a single mother. She worked two jobs, was barely home because of determination to give me whatever she could. She showed me what true strength is.
Maria: When I think back in history, I think of the first feminist that I know of from the Americas, Sor Juana Inés De la Cruz (1648-1695), a self-taught, writer, composer, poet, playwright, and staunch advocate for a women’s rights for education, who, in a man’s world, became a nun so she could have the time to continue with her intellectual pursuits. Her love for learning and struggle to be able to do so is truly inspiring to me. My paternal Mexican grandmother and namesake is another person that I drew much inspiration from. She was widowed young, survived life’s adversities, and learned to read and write in her mid-sixties. To her memory, I dedicate my academic accomplishments and professional pursuits.
Sonya:The absolute most inspirational woman for me is my mother. She passed away 16 years ago now, but not a day goes by that I do not think about her and how incredibly blessed I am to be raised by such a shining light. She raised six exceptional women. I idolize how she managed all components of the household having only had a second-grade education in Mexico. She was incredibly tenacious, loving, supportive, and always seemed to run everything so seamlessly.
My eldest sister is also another inspirational woman in my life. She epitomizes the modern-day mother with balancing her full-time job, four active children and the day-to-day household responsibilities. Not only is she always there for her own, nuclear family; she is also always there for her five siblings. Her strength, resilience, and unconditional support is exceptionally inspirational.
Aliyah:A woman in my life that inspires me is my grandmother. My grandmother was strong minded and built up those around her, embracing family and her community as one.
Grandmother Henrietta’s Poem
Although gone you are still here
Your presence far but near
Your legacy lives on to this very day
Looking for guidance from you in every way
You are loved, cherished, and always remembered
You are now apart of a timeline, a timeline that many have entered
All of our emotions for you can’t be measured but carried on, passed on, and taught
Not one of our family members will be forgot
We love you and feel your presence everyday
We love you Henrietta Elizabeth Hill from sweet Bessie Mae.
Students from OMEGA NU and the Educators’ Club discuss why Black History Month is important to them.
Join OMEGANU and Educators’ Club. OmegaNU meets the 3rd Tuesday of the month. See the website for meeting information. Join the first meeting of the Educators’ Club on Thursday, March 4 at 5 p.m. PST. Register here. The NU student community is invited to our Black History Month Celebration Game Night! Wednesday, February 24 at 5:30 p.m., PST. Register here.
Black History Month gives me, an African American female, many opportunities to gain more knowledge about the history of my own people, to listen to and enjoy traditional music and to attend enriching events. This is also a time for highlighting the many accomplishments and contributions that Black Americans have made to the scientific, educational, and social justice fabric of the United States. It is unfortunate that we, as a country, only recognize the contributions of Black people once a year during the month of February. With so many decisions being made on the basis of a person’s race– or the color of their skin and without regard to the content of their character and the importance of their work–Black History Month provides an opportunity to salute the many accomplishments that often go unnoticed.
This is a time to rejoice and reflect on how far we’ve come as a race, and how far we’re going to go. Giving thanks to my ancestors for being brave and paving the way for excellence. Black History Month means honoring the struggles so many African-American men and women faced, educating the others on the challenges they still face, and celebrating the challenges they’ve overcome. This charge is the essence of the concept “Sankofa,” derived from King Adinkera of the Akan people of West Africa. Sankofa means, “it is not taboo to go back and fetch what you forgot.”
“Sankofa” teaches us that we must go back to our roots in order to move forward. That is, we should reach back and gather the best of what our past has to teach us, so that we can achieve our full potential as we move forward. Whatever we as a people have lost, forgotten, forgone, or been stripped of can be reclaimed, revived, and preserved. Black history matters to everyone. I’m glad we have the opportunity to celebrate and recognize Black History because to really truly understand our nation’s history, we all need to better understand Black History.
Come join Omega NU and PRIDE on February 24, 2021 from 5:30pm-6:30pm for a Jeopardy Game to not only test your knowledge of the phenomenal impacts that Black Americans have had on our country both past and present, but possibly learn more than you ever knew. There is a chance to win prizes as well. We look forward to seeing you there!
Marissa Mosley, member of Educators’ Club reflects on the Resilience and Joy of Family
When I think of Black history, I think of the stories that have been told of incredible resilience and persistent joy in the face of unimaginable circumstances. I think of the countless tales of perseverance and innovation in the midst of extreme adversity. Stories of civil rights leaders who never faltered in the face of opposition–black inventors, entrepreneurs, teachers, doctors, and countless others who paved the way for myself and others who look like me. I think about families that pass down stories of love and triumph from generation to generation.
For me, Black history begins with my family. Storytelling is bound to take place when the Mosley family gets together. I have grown fond of the precious moments we spend telling stories as we sit around the table. My favorite stories are those that my father tells of a distant past, a past that I could not have imagined living, one that lives vividly in his memories–stories of family members that I have never had the chance to meet. Like my late grandfather, “Wild Bill” (how he got that nickname is a story in itself). My grandfather grew up in Mississippi long before Black people had civil rights. He had many run-ins with those who hated the color of his skin. There were no police officers who he could call for help or lawyers that would seek justice on his behalf, but, as my father tells it, he never backed down in the face of opposition. He worked hard to provide for his family despite the challenges that he faced. And he stood up for those who he loved, even if it meant losing his life.
As I listen to my father tell stories of a past that is not so distant to him, I notice that his reminiscence is not one of brokeness. He speaks of his bold and unafraid father with a gleam of pride in his eyes. It is evident to me that he is not telling the story of a broken people, but of a people who made the most out of an impossible situation, who clung to their family and valued the little that they had–of a people who survived off of faith, family, and laughter.
I am honored to have Wild Bill’s blood flowing through my veins, to have such a rich heritage, a heritage that transcends bloodline and tells the story of a community of people who fought to overcome a heavy-laden past. To me, Black history is about Black superheroes, like Wild Bill, who never faltered in their stance against injustice, who effected change that made a difference in the lives of those who came after them.
Black History Month is a month in which we honor all that Black people have contributed to American society, particularly those like my grandfather and my father, a Vietnam Veteran.
It is a month in which we take time to recognize black pioneers, activists, and everyday families. Black history is American history. It is not confined to the month of February;it is alive in the stories that we tell and in the experiences we share.
Would you like to contribute your story for Black History Month or Women’s History Month? If so, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.