Alumna invited to discuss child care at U.S. Capitol

Stephanie Brown stands at the podium next to Nancy Pelosi during an event to promote the Women's Economic Agenda.
Stephanie Brown stands at the podium next to Nancy Pelosi during an event to promote the Women's Economic Agenda.
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Grand Valley alumna Stephanie Brown said as a student-parent, she would not have been able to graduate in four years and receive a job without the support of Grand Valley.

Brown spoke about her experience as a student-parent on the steps of the U.S. Capitol Building during an event in July to promote the Women’s Economic Agenda, led by Rep. Nancy Pelosi and other members of Congress.

Brown was invited by the Institute for Women’s Policy and Research to share her story and discuss the importance of child care and education. The agenda also addresses job training and education and paycheck fairness legislation.

Sharalle Arnold, director of the Children’s Enrichment Center at Grand Valley and chair of the Higher Education Alliance of Advocates for Students with Children, was contacted by the organization to recommend a student-parent who could discuss parenting and education. “I worked a lot with Stephanie when she was a student and she used the Children’s Enrichment Center for day care for her daughter, so I immediately thought of her to recommend,” said Arnold.

Brown, who graduated in the spring of 2013 with a bachelor’s degree in sociology and a minor in criminal justice, works as a youth counselor for Bethany Christian Services. Her daughter, Makenzie, is 4 years old.

“I was a single mom in college. I really wouldn’t have been able to graduate in the time that I did without the help of the Children’s Enrichment Center,” Brown said. “It was a great experience to be able to share my story and the support I received from Grand Valley.”