The Chronicle of Higher Education
May 18th, 2015
As a first-generation, low- income
college student, Ashley Abregu faces outsize challenges. In this city, a
destination for immigrants, where a quarter of the population lives
below the poverty line, there are many people like her.
But Ms. Abregu carries another big challenge, one that comes in a tiny package: Her name is Aubrie, and she is 3 years old.
Ms. Abregu, who was born in Peru and raised in the United States, is a
single mother — one of about 1,800 parents who attend Passaic County
Community College here. But among them, she is lucky: She and about 100
other parents got their children into an all-day child-care program run
by the college, in a space adjacent to its main building. And because
the program is supported by the local public schools — to give children a
jump-start before entering kindergarten — Ms. Abregu pays nearly