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The American Women's College
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Michala Schupp Paine '21

Within each of our students is an inspirational story of perseverance and strength, and we are honored to share them with our Bay Path community. This narrative originally appeared as part of Bay Path's Commencement 2021 on social media.

“I chose Bay Path because I’d tried traditional programs before, and they just didn’t feel like they were built for me. In a traditional college program, it felt like being a mother was an obstacle. Here it’s an advantage.

“My experience as a woman is taken seriously and is seen as valuable to my education and profession. Juggling school and parenting was hard when I first started, but when the pandemic hit, it was a whole new level of difficulty. I had to transition to working from home, manage our 17-year-old niece’s distance learning as she had just moved in with us, take care of my two-year-old full-time while working because the daycare facilities had closed, and still manage to do my schoolwork. Sometimes that meant staying up until 3 am to study and waking up at 6:00 to work.

“I have a level of respect for myself that I didn’t have before. I am not afraid of any challenge because I’ve already conquered things more difficult than I ever imagined I could live through and thrive in the midst of. I recently was granted a promotion from a customer service position to a data forecaster position in my company in large part because of my education here at Bay Path. I plan to continue my studies to earn my bachelor’s degree next.

“If I had to give advice to a mother considering starting school, I’d say do it. You’d be surprised what kind of power, resilience, and strength you’ll discover you have. Your children will learn so much from watching your journey, and the decision to pursue your education can change the whole trajectory of your family’s legacy. Children of educated women have better outcomes on average, and I wanted that head-start for my children. I want it for yours as well, and I know Bay Path does too.”

- Michala Schupp Paine, mother and business administration major at The American Women’s College (TAWC) here at Bay Path.

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