Pierce College is changing lives for the better

A young mother and her son are waiting for the bus. The air is chilly. Jessie Ellington’s rich sapphire eyes smile as she begins the story embarking on a part of her past.

“In 2007 I had just graduated from high school as valedictorian. Then a tragedy happened,” Ellington said. “Two months later, I walk up to the front door of my house. I open the door. I found my mother dead. She had committed suicide. And I was pregnant with nowhere to go. I had no family, no husband, and no father for my baby.”

Ellington, a 22-year-old single mother, has a 3-year-old son, Rylan. The mother and son are both blue-eyed with hair of golden curls. They get on the bus, leaving the campus to go home. Their bus ride is a short one, now that they live close to the Pierce College Puyallup.

Life wasn’t always so easy for this young mother and her little boy. About two years ago, they lived in Federal Way. It took an hour for them to get to the Pierce campus. This young mother had a baby in a stroller returning back to school. She and her son had to be on the bus by 6:30 a.m. and wouldn’t get home until 7 at night. Once they had gotten home, the young mother created enough play time with her son. She fixed their dinner. She sang lullabies till her baby boy fell asleep. Then it was four to five hours of homework. Soon after, she would fall asleep, waiting till the next morning.

“The hardest thing for me returning to school was paying for my son’s daycare on the Pierce campus,” Ellington said. “I did work study between classes to pay for Rylan’s daycare.”

Rylan is happy riding the bus with his mom to school. They smile. They laugh. He tells the bus driver, “thank you.” Then he takes off running as fast as he can to get through the college’s doors, and mom is right behind, chasing after him.

Pierce College has done a wonderful thing for single young mothers and their children by creating the campus daycare.

Ellington’s reason for returning to school was not only to further her education. She wanted to fulfill her goals. Her dreams. She wanted to give her son a better life.

“I want my son to know that no matter what obstacles come his way, he can get past them, survive, thrive and conquer,” she said. “We are not bound by our circumstances. We have no limit to what we can become. Unless we allow ourselves to be a negative product of our environment.”


The Puyallup Post is the award-winning news media of Pierce College Puyallup in Puyallup, Washington. Copyright The Puyallup Post 2018. Find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Youtube @thepuyalluppost

Pierce College is changing lives for the better

by Contributing Writer time to read: 2 min