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Girls & Women

Is this 4 month old the youngest student to attend university?


Mother and student at Baylor University Kate Humphrey refuses to miss a class. After her babysitter canceled on watching her 4 ½ month old daughter, she didn’t hesitate to bring her along to Professor Darryn Willoughby’s class. 

Professor Willoughby didn’t seem to mind.  When the child became restless in class, Willoughby scooped the child up and cradled her throughout the rest of his 55 minute lecture.

Education is not a linear process

Education is not an ongoing process for most people. People take breaks, start jobs, save money and even start their own family.  Unfortunately Women are largely disadvantaged if they want to get married, start a family and continue their education, even in the 21st century.  

Child Care in higher education

Humphrey is among the many other women and men in the United States who are is enrolled in higher education and have starting a family.  The American Association of University Women stated that there are more than 4 million women who attend public institutions or community colleges and that 1 million of them were mothers.  Of the countless institutes for higher education across the United States only 1,000 community colleges offer childcare.

The cost of child-care versus the cost of public education will surprise you

In a report done by Sallie Mae in 2013,  the cost of sending a child to day care more than the cost of tuition and fees for public colleges in 31 US states.  The solution to this problem, don’t make women choose, women can and should always have the opportunity to be a mother and a student at the same time if they choose to.

Kate’s goals

Kate Humphrey is a former marine who spent 14 years as a linguist and analyst. She  is now a mother with a beautiful child determined to continue her education. In part, her determination to continue her education comes from her longer term goal: becoming a physical therapist to help military veterans recover.

“After a few friends were injured in Afghanistan, I felt called to work with wounded warriors, ” said Kate Humphrey.

When all institutes of higher education begin offering child-care services, than women like Humphrey will no longer have to risk missing a class. Empowering women like Kate means a world where no one has to choose between raising a family and getting an education.