Stephanie Coates - Giving Forward to Assist Working Parents

Stephanie Coates

Stephanie Coates knows firsthand what a struggle it is to balance college classwork and parenting. She graduated in 2020 with a dual degree: Master of Social Work and Master of Public Policy. If she hadn’t received a scholarship from the University of Houston, that wouldn’t have happened.

Parenting book

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

“Financial support allowed me to graduate on time,” Coates said. “Without it I may have had to take fewer courses per semester, since I didn't want to accumulate too much debt.”

Now she’s returning the kindness, donating to scholarship funds and the UH Children's Learning Center. “As a working person with children, I wouldn't have been able to be as successful without those supports when I was a student,” she said.

Coates said she would like to see her donation create more opportunities for someone to pursue their education, especially if they are a working parent. She wants students to know that it's possible to balance the many competing demands on their time.

Stephanie Coates

“The education I received has allowed me to pursue a career working on climate and environmental justice and I'm very grateful to the staff and faculty who made it possible,” she said. “But I don't consider my donation "giving back" to the institution. I see it as a way to give forward to allow students in circumstances similar to mine when I was a student -- working, maybe with kids, with financial concerns, not wanting to take on debt -- the opportunity to achieve their degree and to pursue meaningful work.”

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Photo by Jaime Lopes on Unsplash

Photo by Jaime Lopes on Unsplash