Discomfort worth the education: Knox senior looked past prejudice to achieve her goal – education

From the Register-Mail:

Chanda Wade is not like her mother.

And Sheri Wade worked very hard to make sure her daughter wouldn’t be.

Chanda is 21 years old, a senior at Knox College and lives in her own apartment on Galesburg’s north side. She was a successful athlete who always did well in school. A Gale Scholar, she graduated from Galesburg High School in 2006 and always felt there was a clear path to a future that included college.

Chanda earned an associate’s degree in arts from Carl Sandburg College and is a black studies major at Knox. She plans to pursue a master’s in human resources at Webster University in St. Louis. Her life is a long way from the one her mother lived as a 21-year-old.

“At that time, my mother was raising babies and working. Working hard,” Chanda said. “My mom dropped out of the 11th grade — at GHS — to give birth to my oldest brother, Jarvis. She worked the whole time I was growing up, two jobs — as a housekeeper and a CNA (certified nursing assistant). I have two older sisters and my older brother. She had to work hard to support us.

“I saw my dad quite a bit, too — mostly on weekends. My family was very supportive and my mom always stayed on top of me to make sure I did well in school. I’ll be the first one in family to graduate from college. My sisters and mom are a huge influence on me to get my master’s. If it wasn’t for them, I would probably join the work force right after I graduated from Knox.”