Knuth is the mother of two boys and is currently working on a bachelor’s degree in entrepreneurial studies at the University of Texas at Tyler.
“Family Pathways has shown me how to be a leader,” Knuth said. “While in the program, I served as our resident council president, where I was able to help the other women enrolled in Family Pathways by encouraging them along their educational journey.”
Linda Womack, the director of Family Pathways in Longview, is responsible for nominating Knuth.
“I am so proud of Karlee and the work she continues to put in to be a better student, a better mother and a better person,” Womack shared. “Despite all the challenges life throws her way, she continues to persevere and create a better life for her children.”
Participating in conversations to improve policies for student parents
Knuth is one of 11 new Parent Advisors from across the U.S. who were selected to join the Postsecondary Success for Parents Initiative (PSP) to help shape Ascend’s expanded agenda to improve higher education policy and practice for student parents.
“I am really excited about working with the other student Parent Advisors and the Ascend team to overcome the many challenges student parents face all over the country,” Knuth said.
According to Ascend, Knuth and her parent advisor peers will “be leading voices in the growing movement to address the needs of the one in five college students in the U.S. raising children.” The 11 new Parent Advisors hail from across the country and are pursuing certificates or degrees from community colleges, four-year universities, and workforce training programs.
Finding ways to lead change
“There are nearly four million student parents across the United States, but the one thing they have in common is a desire to make a better life for themselves and their families,” said David Croom, associate director of postsecondary success for Parents at Ascend.
“As more policymakers and institution leaders realize that supporting the success of student parents benefits everyone, we need solutions that are informed directly by those who are directly affected by policy decisions,” Croom continued. “These 11 incredible students and alumni will not only inform our work at Ascend, they will drive forward the change in their schools, communities and beyond.”
As a Parent Advisor, Knuth will participate in monthly virtual meetings and biannual in-person convenings with the group. Their first in-person convening was in August. Learn more about the work Knuth and the other Parent Advisors are undertaking.
“Karlee is definitely a wonderful success story for Family Pathways, and I know she will bring a unique perspective to the advisory board and be a real asset to Ascend,” Womack said.
Buckner International collaborates with the nationwide Aspen Institute Ascend Network of leaders that are using a 2Gen approach to create a society where every family can pass a legacy of educational success, economic prosperity and well-being to their children.