"If you don't have a test, you won't have a testimony in the end."
GSSW Class of ’11 graduate Mia Artis first heard those words from her grandfather. And that’s only fitting, since for Artis, “family is the nucleus of it all.” In fact, while earning her Associate’s Degree at Kingsborough College, the mother of three brought all her children along to school. Even at their young ages of 8, 12 and 16, the kids already reflected their mother’s life lessons. “As a single parent, I didn’t have a choice,” she says. “They sat quietly through everything, even four-hour bio classes. They knew I was doing this for all of us.”
That first year at Touro, the pressure from keeping up with myriad demands on her time would have Artis in tears on the bus en route to campus.. But by following through on her goals and continuing to juggle work, school and being a mom, she demonstrated to her kids “that there’s a start, and a finish,” and they could do it too.
Artis wants to eventually set up a program working with incarcerated parents returning home to their families. “No one says. ‘I don’t want my child to succeed,’” she says of ex-inmates. “They just might not know how to be a good parent. And no matter what a parent has done, a child always wants that parent’s love.”
This is Mia Artis’ story.