Phenomenal Moms: Jenny Clater – LatinasUnited.com

Jenny from www.LatinasUnited.comFor Mother’s Day I decided to dedicate this space to feature beyond amazing Mothers.  It is incomprehensible how much we do as Moms, and even more so when I see a Mom further her education while juggling all the demands of life.
The following is the words of encouragement from Jenny, whom I met at this year’s “We All Grow Summit.” As I followed her blog and social media accounts I read her posts of strength and struggle as she pursued her goals… AND am SO PROUD of her as she has reached her goal and completed her Mini-MBA Certificate Program for Social Media Marketing from Rutgers University this very week!  Can’t believe she took time to write these words for me to share with all of you.  Gacias Jenny!
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My family needs me but often times we forget about our own needs. Does that sound like someoneyou know?
* No Money
* No Time
* Feelings of Guilt
* I Don’t Want to Fail
* How will I Juggle It All?
* What Will I Go To School For?
These are all the things that have crossed my mind. I am sure that you have come up with the same if not longer list that consists of all the reasons why you can’t or couldn’t go back to school.  As a Latina, it is in our nature to be extremely giving human beings. I use the word extremely because we don’t realize that we give so much to others that we fail to give to ourselves.
My life has been very similar to that of a roller coaster ride. The moment I thought I had everything under control, things would come crashing down. While working for the largest University in NJ for 4 years, a job opportunity presented itself where I would earn nearly double what I was making. At the time I had my two step-sons living with me and two boys of my own, therefore with four children to feed, I knew I couldn’t let this job pass me by. It was a chance I was leaving my comfort zone to start something new, and of course the undeniable emotion that ran through my blood was fear. I know as we get older so many of us get comfortable where we are. We usually stay at a job that doesn’t make us happy because it’s safe. We refrain from taking chances and jumping into something new because of fear… fear of failing. I was faced with these same fears but I knew in my heart that I never wanted to be the girl to settle at a job, that although I enjoyed what I did, I knew I needed more.
I took the leap of faith…
Four months into my new position my step-sons decided they were moving back with their mom after living with us for three years, and about two months after that I LOST MY NEW JOB. Six months into my
new position working for an attorney and I was already out of a job.  Although many would say { Everything happens for a reason} At the time I really couldn’t think of a good enough reason as to why this was happening to me or what good could possibly come from me getting laid off.
So many emotions come over you after losing a job it’s almost unbearable. I had never lost a job before.  Many changes happened during this very difficult period in my life that I felt helpless and would find myself crying because I felt like such a failure.  It was during a trip I took to Chicago to visit my grandmother that I decided I was not going to continue to dwell on things anymore; in fact I needed to find the positive in having lost my job. I decided I needed to go back to school and finish what I had started until I allowed everything else to get in the way.
When I realized I let two years pass me by and that I was only one class away from graduating with my Associates, the level of disappointment was beyond me. I couldn’t believe years had gone by putting everyone else’s needs first that I failed to take care of me.  I have to admit that losing my job helped me realize so much about myself. I rediscovered the girl who has no boundaries, the girl that pushes to be the best version of herself every single day. The girl who knows she will not win every battle but knows how to pick herself back up when she fails.
I took a negative situation and made it a positive. I was even granted a scholarship through the Unemployment program to take a Mini-MBA Certificate Program for Social Media Marketing from Rutgers University, which I just completed this April. I am also proud to say I am finally completing my Associates degree this May and I am not stopping there.
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Overall I believe it is the confidence that I have been slowly regaining in myself that has allowed me to pursue finishing my education. In today’s world, having a degree doesn’t necessarily mean a guaranteed job but it can definitely help open more opportunities that help you make more money than you would without it.  I am in pursuit of my own happiness and I refuse to spend the rest of my life waking up to go to a job that I hate. Take some time to evaluate and write down what interests you. Make short and long term goals and be realistic. Create a plan of action to help you visualize your end goal. Even if you start by taking one class at a time, until you decide what you would like to pursue that’s one step closer to achieving your degree.
There are many scholarships available to help you towards paying for college, we just have to look. We need to work at managing our time and designate time for our own personal growth. Feeling guilty is normal and its part being a mom. The moment you decide to go back to school you are actually doing this for the betterment of your children as well so don’t ever allow a man, or anyone, to make you feel guilty for wanting to continue your education. I have failed and you may too but that is the only way you grow.
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Women are excellent at multi-tasking. If you’re wondering how you will manage just take a look at my pictures and know that If I can juggle going back to work, school and have two children then you can do it too! It will never be too late for you to decide to put yourself first by pursuing a degree and continuously working on becoming the best version of yourself.
~ Jenny Clater
Are you or know of an Amazing Mother that has or is furthering her education and would like them featured?  Please let me know!

4 Comments

  1. May 8, 2016 / 2:15 am

    I could tell you this is one special girl I’m her mom and she is an amazing daughter as well, she is always checking up on me. As she was growing up I taught her a thing or two and give her advice but guess what? Now I’m learning from her and I ask for advice . Funny how life works huh! I expect greatness from her because she has it in her.

  2. March 12, 2017 / 2:36 pm

    Such an up-lifting and inspiring post. Thank you Jenny for sharing your journey and thank you MizLiz for expanding your platform and shining light on some phenomenal women!

    • March 13, 2017 / 12:39 am

      She is an amazing Mom! So glad I can highlight the lives of amazing people <3

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