Meet scholarship recipient Kaylie Deckard and her daughter Kennedy. Kaylie is pursuing a Communications degree at the University of Arkansas. We asked Kaylie to tell us more about her journey as an SPSF NWA Scholar.

What made you decide to go back to school/go to school for the first time?
I have been waiting tables for the past eight years of my life. When I got pregnant, I knew to give my daughter the life I wanted her to have, I would have to have a job with more opportunity.

How did you choose your major?
I chose communications as my major because it is something that comes naturally to me. I absolutely love getting to know people and communicating thoughts and ideas. I knew it would be a field that would come easily to me and it is also a very broad degree that I can do a lot of different things with.

Favorite parenting moment thus far?
My daughter Kennedy is 2. Just recently she said, “I love you mama!” for the first time. Cue the waterworks—my heart absolutely exploded!

Where do you and Kennedy like to hang out in NWA?
I love taking her to the splash pad in Bentonville and to the Amazeum! We also love going to the zoo, swimming, and going to the farmer’s market.

What is something you wish someone had told you before you had Kennedy?
Stay inspired and keep going! One day you are going to be amazed by your strength.

What are some of your biggest challenges?
I think as a mom, I am often too hard on myself. I have a lot of days where I’m juggling school, work, and motherhood—and I feel like I’m not always giving my daughter everything she deserves. I just try to remind myself that I am only human.

Why do you value education?
I value education for several reasons. 1) I love to learn. I’m infinitely curious and education helps me satisfy the need to know more. 2) I know having a good education will enable me to give my daughter a better life. 3) “If you know better, you do better.” The more I know and learn, the more I am able to contribute to the betterment of this world!

Other than financially, what impact has SPSF NWA had on your life?
I love knowing there are so many people who believe in me enough to support me and invest in my dreams. It has been a huge motivation to keep going and do my best!

How will life be different for you and your daughter after you graduate?
I can’t wait to not work at night anymore! I will absolutely love having a schedule that is more in sync with my daughter’s. Additionally, I will (hopefully) finally break free of this financial struggle of living paycheck to paycheck.

What would you like to say to SPSF NWA supporters?
Thank you for believing in all of us. Going to school, working, and trying to be great parent is not for the faint of heart. Your support inspires and reaches further than you could imagine.