The Texas A&M Aggies are old pros when it comes to pro-life work. They have a long history of involvement, praying at local abortion mills, and encouraging students to become more involved in the work. Most recently, Pro-Life Aggies started the Pro-Life Aggies Pregnant & Parenting Student Scholarship.
The scholarship for $1,000 is awarded every semester to at least one student (more when they have adequate funds). Applications are accepted and interviews are conducted prior to awarding the scholarships in the fall and spring. Laura Campos, the group’s president, relates: “We got the idea from Lumberjacks for Life at Stephen F Austin State University.” The scholarship’s inception at Steven F. Austin was conceived “in response to a student … who said that pro-lifers don’t do anything to help women in crisis pregnancy situations, and therefore have no right to speak on the issue.” Well, dear student, apparently they do now!
The Pro-Life Aggies began awarding this scholarship one year ago and have found it to be an extremely effective way to express their life-affirming convictions in the college atmosphere. “Financial difficulty is one of the primary reasons that college aged women consider abortion,” Laura says. These moms often think that with a child, they will be unable to finish school. The Pro-Life Aggies exist to ensure that this is not the case. Laura continued: “We can’t give a lot, but we give what we can.”
Laura relays that these women “overcome seemingly insurmountable odds to better themselves and make a good life for their children.” In fact, she says that the hardest part of the scholarship-awarding process is the interviews. Hearing so many stories, she says it is “difficult to choose one or two people to award it to.”
Laura tells the story of one of the scholarship recipients, named Flor, whose life was changed by the gift:
She had had a very tumultuous situation – she had come to Texas A&M University right out of high school, joining the Corps of Cadets and everything. But, she unexpectedly ended up having to work multiple jobs to support family members, and so dropped out of school. She was in an abusive relationship with the man who would father her child, which she finally escaped. She had a difficult, premature pregnancy, and went home for some time before she decided that she absolutely MUST come back to A&M to finish her education and improve her situation. So, she came back with her 2-year-old daughter, and will be graduating this May. She is the most dedicated, determined, strong individual I’ve ever met, and she loves her daughter so very, very much and would do anything for her. She puts her first AND makes good grades with a schedule that would make the typical undergrad (myself included) cringe. That’s the common denominator with all of these women- one question we always ask is, What was the most important thing you learned/how did you grow as a person during your pregnancy and while parenting? And they always say how they learned to love, how to sacrifice. They became less selfish and more giving, understanding, and patient. Despite all they have gone through, the pure and unconditional love shown to them by their children is a tremendous source of healing and strength.
The Pro-Life Aggies fund the scholarship with their annual 5K. The turnout at the 5K determines the number of scholarships they will be able to award. Profit-shares at local restaurants are another source of scholarship funding, as well as small donations from local businesses, and assistance from local pro-life organizations like the Brazos Valley Coalition for Life and Texas Right to Life.
If you would like to learn more about how to set up a scholarship or do something to help pregnant and parenting students on your campus, visit Students for Life of America’s initiative at http://pregnantoncampus.studentsforlife.org.
Watch this video to see why campuses need more parent-friendly resources to make parenting during college a more doable endeavor.