Kang "Kay" Young Kye holds her daughter, Khole, as they observe animals at the San Francisco Zoo for Family Day with other families of VET members. (ALL PHOTOS By Amanda Peterson/ Xpress Magazine)
Kang “Kay” Young Kye holds her daughter, Khole, as they observe animals at the San Francisco Zoo for Family Day with other families of VET members. (ALL PHOTOS By Amanda Peterson/ Xpress Magazine)

Upper division business courses probably do not sound like too much fun to some. They are probably also not classes where you expect to see someone so comfortable and poised as Kang Young “Kay” Kye. As she calmly takes her seat in the front row of the small auditorium, you would probably never guess this senior lived such a busy life outside of her full course load. Not only is Kye an international business major, a veteran of the war in Afghanistan, and the president of the Veterans’ Club on campus, but also a full-time mother to her two year old daughter, Khloe.

At SF State, over one hundred parents entrust the campus daycare, the Early Childhood Education Center, to guide their child’s first years, and roughly 25 percent are single parents like Kye. The daycare enrolls children from six months old to three years in the infant to toddler program and three years to five years old in the preschool program. The daycare has been at SF State for forty-two years, since approved by  Associated Student, Incorporated (ASI) and the California State University (CSU) board of trustees in 1971 and opened its doors on October, 10th 1972.

“It’s actually an exceptional program,” says the twenty-eight year old. “It’s just all around a very very amazing daycare center and also they give priority to students and low-income students and of course, just like any student, we’re all pretty broke right? They also prioritize veteran families as well, which has been a huge plus as well.”

Students without children of their own may not be very informed when it comes to what it takes to be a parent while going to school. Kye mentions that as a parent, not only are you responsible for yourself, for your homework, and for attending class, but also for the well-being of your child.

“After I had her, I didn’t go to school [campus], but I enrolled and took online classes,” says Kye. “So I took three online classes my spring semester so I was able to stay home with her still but still continue my education.”

Not only does Kye prove that being both a parent and a student is possible, but that if you manage your time and prioritize, there is no limit to how far you can go in life — and Kye embodies that.

“I think balance is a really important thing,” advises Kye to other parents who are also students. “What I learned is that even though you might want to do 100 percent at everything, sometimes it’s just not possible. So it’s just being comfortable with whatever you’re capable of doing. So as long as you’re trying your best, you should be proud of the challenges that you are already overcoming.”

Kye will graduate from SF State in the Spring of 2015 with a Bachelors degree in international business. She hopes from there to pursue, as she refers to it, a “civilian career” as an international relations representative for a corporation that operates globally.

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  • Kyle, a veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom, bears a heavy burden as a heavy load as a single-mother, a student, and president of the VETS (Veterans Education Transition & Support) student organization at SF State, and still finds ways to balance all of her responsibilities with grace, putting motherhood first.
  • Kyle explains to a newcomer what the organization does and how to get involved. The VETS Corner, located on the first level of Burk Hall in Room 153, was officially opened on November 9th, 2012, and is a place for student veterans to socialize or make use of a quiet room for study or computer use.
  • The twenty-eight-year-old International Business major, sits the front row of Room 218 in the Business Building at SF State for her first class, Seminar on Business in Society. Kye has back-to-back classes twice a week as a full-time student and is interested in international work opportunities after graduating in Spring 2015 with a B.A. from SF State. Kye began the undergraduate program in 2012 as a single-parent when daughter, Khloe, was 3-months-old. Kye takes education seriously, but does not strain for the perfection to get straight As as she used to. Balance is now what Kye strives for, juggling the responsibilities of being a student, a parent, and president of the VETS student organization at SF State.
  • After a long day at school, Kang “Kay” Young Kye carries her two-year-old daughter, Khloe, to the reception for the opening of the group exhibition “Coming Home, A Veteran’s Experience” at The Art Gallery at SF State.
  • Kye (left), leans in for a kiss with boyfriend, Christopher Michael Lee, after giving a toast with veteran families at the Veteran Family Thanksgiving Dinner at Kay’s home in Daly City. The house was filled to the brim with veterans and their families and friends, who were gathered together as a family for good times and traditional Thanksgiving fare.