Moms, Dads, and grads put family first

Written by: 
Meagan Crowell ~ Multimedia Journalist

Young moms and dads at BYU-Hawaii said they juggle the demanding load of school, work, and being full-time parents. They share their struggles and secrets to success.

The married housing adjacent to BYUH campus, Temple View Apartments or TVA, accommodates approximately 281 student families.

Andrews Crowell, an undeclared freshman from Hauula, settled into TVA during Summer B of 2014 with his wife and daughter. Crowell said, “We just had our first baby girl in May. As I started school in September, juggling the role of a father, working full time at Kualoa Ranch, and being a full-time student seemed impossible. But my wife and I work through it because we have to.”

Crowell added his role is to provide a wonderful lifestyle for his family. He said he understands even though its hard now, he keeps one thing in mind and that is family.

Crowell is not alone in his view on family. Dallin Leota, a freshman majoring in psychology, said he moved from Australia to Laie with his wife and son. Leota said, “The hardest part about being a parent and going to school is balancing time with my family and making it a consistent time.”

The balance isn’t easy for any parents at BYUH, but all interviewed said it is worth it. Sydney Rowland, an undeclared sophomore from Oregon, said, “I wouldn’t be attending school if it wasn’t for my family. They are the reason why I want to obtain a degree along with my husband.” Rowland uses her free time to catch up on schoolwork but feels her real focus is on her husband and two children.

Nadia Esera, a 2013 BYUH graduate, received her bachelor’s degree in elementary education while a mother to five children, all of whom were under the age of 13. Esera stated, “It was a struggle, but I knew that I had to finish school. I was able to attend my classes while my children were in school and I also enrolled in night classes. It was tough being away from my children but everything I do is for them.” Esera is now a first grade teacher at Sunset Beach Elementary and has a growing family of six.

David Bayas, a freshman from Ecuador majoring in marketing, said he would not be able to attend school, fulfill his calling as Young Men’s president, provide for his family, or spend time with his children, without his wife to help him. “It’s challenging finding time for my family though I don’t think it’s impossible. What keeps you strong is always the gospel and Jesus Christ because one thing that I know is I came to this place to grow as a person. My challenges only strengthen me and help me grow.”