Mom setting a good example

Sam McNeish
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High school was a struggle for Kim Petten.

OXFORD High school was a struggle for Kim Petten.

Like most kids all she could think about was getting in and getting out as fast as possible.

And like so many, she found out the hard way that not having a proper education leaves one to struggle to find appropriate work that allows the means to raise a family.

I had a terrible job. I hated it. When I was getting ready to return to work after having my third child, the thought of going back was sickening, the single mother of three said.

I knew I wanted something more fulfilling but wasnt sure what to do, she added.

Add this to the fact her oldest daughter was about to turn 13 and was heading into high school.

The biggest thing I think was that I wanted to set a good example for my children. I want to show her that mom has some sort of profession, Petten said.

Because she is coming into her teen years, its important she understands she cant follow my example and not allow her to think what I did when I was in school was sufficient, she added.

Now almost a year later, Petten is in the stretch drive of her adult learning program at NSCC Cumberland Campus and has already decided to take the paralegal course next fall. And because of the articulation agreement NSCC has with a number of colleges and universities, Petten said she may pursue a degree in the legal field.

Unlike many single moms who go back to school, Petten has a supportive family who pick up the slack while she is studying and help get her three busy children to all their activities over the course of a regular week.

Whether it driving them to Amherst for activities, Collingwood for Cubs or to basketball games, the support is there.

Weve had to tighten things for now and its been tight, but manageable, she said.

Im just glad Im getting a second chance. I was a terrible student and all I wanted to do was graduate so I could move on. Now I dont want to miss the boat a second time, she added.

Organizations: Cumberland

Geographic location: OXFORD, Amherst

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