Written by Selina Dunbar, Advancement Intern
When I thought of student-parents initially, specifically those who became pregnant as teenagers, what came to mind were single-parent mothers who have weak support systems and whose children are raised in a single-parent home.
However, when I interviewed Tamar Marable, I quickly realized that this was not always true.
Tamar, originally from Cleveland, Ohio, became a student at The Ohio State University in 2007. Tamar also became pregnant the following year.
Despite the ongoing challenge of motherhood, Tamar was able to make a lasting impact at Ohio State. She was an active participant in many clubs and organizations on and off campus such as the African American Heritage Festival, ACCESS Collaborative Program, and H.O.M.E. (Helping Our Mothers’ Education). In 2012, she graduated from Ohio State with a Bachelor of Science in Human Development and Family Science with a minor in sexuality studies.
Furthermore, Tamar has achieved numerous successes since graduating. She served two years with AmeriCorps at City Year Columbus, mentoring and tutoring high school students to increase our nation’s graduation rates. Although this position required her to work between 50 and 60 hours a week, Tamar calls the experience “priceless.” Most recently, she has started a freelance makeup business called Makeup by Naturally Chic, LLC. She describes this business as her “passion.”
Tamar credits her collegiate and professional success to ACCESS Collaborative, an academic and social support program within the Office of Diversity and Inclusion that assists low-income, single parent students who are pursuing a college education at Ohio State.
“Without ACCESS, I probably wouldn’t have graduated and be where I am today,” states Tamar. More than anything, Tamar says ACCESS provided support and afforded her the opportunity to earn book stipends, have priority scheduling, mentors, and attend weekly meetings on topics ranging from relationships to finance.
Not only did Tamar have support from ACCESS, she also had support and encouragement from her then boyfriend and current husband, who she also credits with her success. This was surprising to me because not only had I interviewed student-parents whose children were growing up in single-parent households, but I also read statistics that revealed children of teen parents are more likely to be raised in a single-parent home.
After finding out she was pregnant, Tamar says her then boyfriend was extremely understanding and helpful. He immediately began looking for opportunities available to her as an expecting student-parent and even informed her about ACCESS and other opportunities.
With her husband and a strong support system, Tamar hopes to continue fostering her passions and become the best mother she can be to her six-year-old son. Ultimately, she says it’s important to “know what inspires you and be fearless and dedicated.”