Lufkin's Buckner Family Place preparing mothers for college

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - The Buckner Family Place is home to more than 20 mothers who are also full-time students.
They are preparing to begin the fall semester at Angelina College next week as many of them settle into their free housing units with their children.

When Mary Rojo's son was 3 months old there were many things running through her mind.

"What am I going to do? How am I going to keep moving forward in life>" Mary Rojo said.

At the age of 20 she was accepted to be a resident at the Buckner Family Place in Lufkin.

"I love it. I like the fact that they have the daycare on campus and that it's easy to bring him here," Rojo said. "It's easy to wake up at seven o'clock in the morning, drop him off, run to school, and still make it by eight o'clock."

Angelina College is an active partner with Buckner and the mothers travel less than a mile to get to class each day.

During their stay at Buckner the staff hopes families will experience spiritual growth and become financially and emotionally independent.

"I work at my church in the toddler room, Rojo said. "I love kids."

The full-time parents and college students are allowed to have a part-time job while the day care is open 10 hours a day.

But things can still be a little tough for the 21-year-old mother.

"It's hard sometimes because Flynn just started walking at 15 months old and it's hard to be able to separate your attention," Rojo said.

Thanks to this great opportunity the Lufkin woman has learned to how to be an independent mother, worker and responsible student who was accepted into the radiology program this week. That is why she is hopeful other parents will take the steps she did.

"It is the perfect opportunity for them to be able to complete their goals; not just start them," Rojo said. "This is more than a roof over your head. You have to get involved community wise, and get involved with the office. You learn how to cook and teach your child new things."

In two years, Rojo will graduate and said her success is due to the skills she's learned at Buckner.

Residents must be college ready at the time they enter the program, they must remain enrolled as full-time students year-round, and they must maintain a 2.0 GPA.

Seven new residents will be moving into the housing units on Tuesday. The staff said they are still accepting applications for the upcoming fall semester.

The staff provides counseling and case management services for residents and their children.

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