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Love and Happiness as a Resolution

Love and Happiness as a Resolution

 “Maintaining my happiness all year long is my resolution for the New Year,” affirms Ynez Berg-Jones. 

 Ynez is a 22 year old, 2018 graduate of Winston Salem State University (WSSU) and proud mother of one-year-old Jace Hudson.  While hers wasn’t always a story of happiness, she found her support system, her family and her ultimate happiness right on the campus of her beloved HBCU. 

  “I had Jace with me my senior year at WSSU,” Ynez said proudly. “But it was extremely challenging,” she recalled.

  That challenge, and the associated hardships of finding affordable childcare, diapers, formula and even a compassionate ear, led Ynez to found College Mommies 101, a community of support for young ladies who become parents while in college. 

  “I started College Mommies 101 because I realized that many students were having similar challenges finding and accessing affordable resources to adequately care for their new babies,” she explained.  “Our goal is to be the ‘plug’ for all resources, including being a link to non-profits that can provide affordable products and services.”

  With a real heart for women experiencing the same or similar challenges as she, Ynez created a mutually beneficial support system, one that young ladies are accessing and one that is growing each month.  In addition to support, Ynez also found ‘HBCU Pride & Joy’ at WSSU. 

  Dr. T. Nichole Phillips, founder and creator of HBCU Pride & Joy, was Ynez’s professor her senior year.  She watched Ynez manage being a full-time parent to a newborn while diligently working to complete her degree.  Impressed with the tenacity and leadership skills Ynez exhibited in class, on campus and among other student parents, Dr. Phillips witnessed Ynez’s embodiment of the qualities, characteristics and attributes of the HBCU Pride & Joy brand.  Dr. Phillips soon invited Ynez to be part of an HBCU Pride & Joy photo shoot.

  “I’ve been a brand fan ever since,” stated Ynez.  “Aside from the fact that the apparel is simply the cutest, HBCU Pride & Joy forms a bond between kids and their parents with cool lines such as the ‘HBCU Kid’s Rock’ line, one that features matching apparel for moms and dads.”

  Thinking back on the hardships she experienced as a student mom, Ynez credits the love and support of her advisor and band director, Dr. Monica D. Guillory and Dr. Michael Magruder respectively. 

  “My advisor and director paved the way for me to complete my education,” she explained.  “They advocated on my behalf; found ways for me to take exams earlier than others; and had my best interest at heart.”

  Typical of the HBCU experience, Ynez found many ways to express herself and form familial ties at WSSU; support that she says is uncommon at ‘traditional’ universities.

  “I have a friend in New York who also became pregnant while in school, although she attended a non-HBCU,” said Ynez.  “Instead of finding ways to encourage her to complete her degree program, she was advised to take an ‘incomplete’ or to take time off.”

  Taking off was not an option for Ynez.  She had bigger and bolder dreams, and with the love and support of her advisor, band director, professors, friends and HBCU family, she graduated on time. Ynez is now employed as a Project Coordinator with Lacquercraft Hospitality where she performs a range of customer service and marketing duties.  She is also maintaining her passion project which involves building awareness of a cause that is near and dear to her heart—providing support for student parents.

  “I want the New Year to bring a greater since of happiness,” restates Ynez.  “For me, that looks like greater awareness for my cause, more strategic partnerships that will offer support to student parents, and greater love, joy and happiness for me and my son.” 

  “I’m grateful for another year to be alive and for the new opportunities ahead,” concluded Ynez.