Education

Montoya: Single Mother Bags Two Degrees From US University while Nursing Her Twins

One of the most motivational stories in recent memory, especially for young mothers who feel like there is no hope, was written by twins’ single mother Montoya Major, 23.

For a dual-degree program at Nova Southeastern University, Montoya relocates to Florida. She was aware that the program would be challenging, but she had no idea that five months into it, she would become pregnant. When Montoya learned that she was expecting twins instead of just one child, her world nearly came to an end.

She told TODAY Parents, “When I found out I was pregnant, my first thought was, ‘What am I going to do with a child?'” “I was residing in Florida, far from my friends and family. I’ve never given thought to having children. I desired to finish my education and start a career. I was aware that my entire way of thinking would need to be revised at this point, so I had to decide what to do.

Montoya instantly devised a plan for what would happen once she gave birth to her defenseless children since she could not allow her pregnancy to destroy her.

She was aware that things wouldn’t be simple, but when she met with her program director, he suggested that she take a break and come back the following year.

She remarked, “I was horrified and quite shocked.” “I never considered quitting the program totally.”

She also had another choice, which was to take two or three weeks off following the birth of her children, but she would still be expected to complete her regular task and no exceptions would be granted. Major decided against both options and went back to school only a few days after having a cesarean section.

“During that semester, I had one day that I was required to be in class from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and like any new mom, I did not want to be away from my babies,” she explained. “I physically felt and looked terrible. I had body aches and incision pain, not to mention the lack of sleep.”

As the task of motherhood is as tough as it is supposed to be every aspect of her life was affected. A month after giving birth, a roommate in her off-campus apartment complained about the babies crying, and she almost had to move out.

“Worrying about where to live with two babies was not something I wanted added to the list of other things going on in my life at the time,” she said.

While there were no rules about children living in the complex, Major moved once her lease ended. Anxiety and stress set in.

“It honestly seemed as though everywhere I turned, there was another situation trying to stop me,” she said. “I felt alone and extremely exhausted. When the girls were sick, I had to miss days to care for them. When I simply just needed a break or to do schoolwork, I didn’t have that.”

She received support from afar, though, leaning on family and friends in her Alabama hometown.

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“They always encouraged me when I felt like I was ready to quit,” she said. “My dad is the reason I wanted to pursue my masters (degree) and was there pushing me, every day, to finish. If I needed to vent to anyone about how I wanted to quit, I had friends and family telling me it would all be worth it in the end.”

On July 20, she shared a celebratory post on social media, announcing that she was almost done with her program.

“I persisted, I finished,” she wrote. “I have achieved not one but TWO degrees with the help of my beautiful daughters, for if it was not for them I would have never pushed myself to finish.”

Her commencement will be held in mid-August. Major will add two degrees — a bachelors in cardiovascular sonography and a masters in health science, to the bachelors in biology that she already holds.

“I honestly believe that I will cry, walking across that stage,” she said. “This has been a long and tough road, and I will cry tears of joy that I officially made it.”

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