Fierce

She Was Barely Coming Down From The Excitement Of Getting Into Her Top Choice In University When She Discovered She Was Pregnant

Matt Ha

Natalie Ruiz has crossed the stage at the University of California, Berkeley but her story is not the typical college time story. The 25-year-old Latina discovered that she was pregnant just three weeks into her first semester in college and, for a moment, she thought her dreams of graduating college were dashed. Ruiz talked to mitú about how she pushed forward with her dreams with the help of the unexpected village of people that came together to help her graduate from UC Berkeley with a 3.97 GPA.

For Natalie Ruiz, the dream of finally being accepted to UC Berkeley was almost derailed by an unplanned pregnancy.

CREDIT: Natalie Ruiz / Facebook

“My absolute first thought was that my father was going to be furious, that I’d not just let him down but brought shame to him and my family,” Ruiz admitted to mitú. “I was coming down from the excitement of even getting into Berkeley, which was my number one choice that had rejected me as a freshman and accepted me as a transfer. I felt like I had finally achieved something really great by being accepted to UC Berkeley and then all of a sudden I had tarnished it.”

But, on her own accord, Ruiz decided to push forward and make sure she would one day walk across that stage to her family and friends cheering her on.

CREDIT: Courtesy of Natalie Ruiz

Ruiz told mitú that she put her energy into an unhealthy form of motivation by telling herself that she had no more room for failure. She tried her best to just immerse herself in her classes so that she could honor the sacrifices of her farm working abuelito. Then Ruiz began to use her real-life experience to find what interested her in her studies. As a young mother who would go to the stores late at night to use WIC stamps so no one would see, Ruiz began to study more sociology to help her make sense of her situation.

But just six weeks after having her baby, Ruiz became really ill and discovered that she has a serious case of pancreatitis that had gone undetected during her pregnancy. This left her in the hospital for a month and recovering from surgery for six months.

CREDIT: Natalie Ruiz / Facebook

“In the time after I had my daughter, I went into the emergency room for a fifth time after many incidents of pain that were unexplained,” Ruiz told mitú about her post-pregnancy health scare that left her in the hospital for six months. “I was diagnosed with having severe necrotizing pancreatitis and what that meant was that the pancreatitis was getting so bad that it was essentially dying and infecting and cutting off the function of my organs, specifically my pancreas as well as my gallbladder and my spleen.”

During her six-month recovery, Ruiz told mitú that a village of people suddenly came together to help her take care of her baby.

CREDIT: Courtesy of Natalie Ruiz

Ruiz says that over the six months in the hospital there were groups of people helping her make it through. She was in constant contact with her professors as she insisted in staying enrolled because she needed the financial aid to pay rent, which you can still do even if you are in the hospital. But what really touched her was the organizing that her friends and family executed to make sure that her child was taken care of. Calendars were marked to keep at least one person with Ruiz and another with her baby at all times. There were also women who donated their own breast milk so that her then-6-week-old baby was able to continue feeding on breast milk the entire six months she was in the hospital. Ruiz recognizes that if any part of the support that grew around her was not there, their spontaneous health care center would have fallen apart.

But the person she thanks the most is her partner and father of her child.

CREDIT: Natalie Ruiz / Facebook

“I have so much respect for the many of my friends who are single mothers, who are parents on their own, because I don’t know what I would have done without the support of my partner,” Ruiz told mitú. “I mean that in terms of helping me balance school with parenting, helping me to maintain my mental health during the stress. The emotional support.”

Ruiz says that she was lucky to be a student at UC Berkeley during her pregnancy and young motherhood.

CREDIT: Matt Ha

“I am extremely fortunate to have been at UC Berkeley, where the resources available for students with children are far more generous than other universities. These resources include a student-parent grant which was added to my financial aid package,” Ruiz told mitú. “I was the recipient of a few other truly great scholarships including the Peter E. Haas Public Service Award, as well as the New Leaders Scholarship. Between these supports, as well as family support, I feel extremely privileged to have been able to finance my educational dreams.”

Now that she is a brand new college graduate, Ruiz is looking for work that will make it possible for her to help other people who are going through what she went through.

CREDIT: Courtesy of Natalie Ruiz

The 25-year-old graduate would like to work in social policy research. Specifically, she wants to “advocate on behalf of poor families in California” in order to better inform lawmakers about the social impact their legislation has on poor families.

“If [education] is your dream, do not give up,” Ruiz tells young mothers about juggling a baby and school.

CREDIT: UC Berkeley photo by Brittany Hosea-Small

But Ruiz does make a point to say that if you are a young mother or pregnant in college, you might have to advocate for yourself until things change. Ruiz credits her university’s procedures and resources to young mothers before her who advocated for the kind of services from which she benefited. If it wasn’t for the student parents before her, Ruiz acknowledges that her own journey navigating motherhood and college would have been much tougher. Above all else, Ruiz says you cannot and should not apologize for being pregnant or a parent. She argues that by apologizing you are making harder for universities to create the necessary spaces to help future student parents.

Congratulations, Natalie!

CREDIT: Matt Ha

May you have all the future successes you have dreamed of.


READ: This Latina Blamed Her Parents For Her Lack Of Education When She Was A Teen, Now She Is Graduating From UC Berkeley And Thanking Them

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We Haven’t Fully Recovered From The Frustration And Anger With The Aunt Becky College Scandal But Lifetime Is Already Working On A Movie

Entertainment

We Haven’t Fully Recovered From The Frustration And Anger With The Aunt Becky College Scandal But Lifetime Is Already Working On A Movie

Lifetime is gearing up to immortalize the epic college admissions scandal into our digital zeitgeist and release a two-hour movie this fall. The movie will highlight two mothers obsessed with getting their children into elite colleges and the consequences of their actions as they unfold. Audiences are hoping the movie will feature the lives of Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin — the two most famous women involved in the scandal.

As juicy as it will be to see the dramatization, there’s another layerLori Loughlin, also known as Aunt Becky from “Full House,” was on Lifetime’s payroll until the network terminated their contract after the scandal erupted.

The network does not plan to hold back.

@DrakeBeTheTypa / Twitter

In a statement released by A+E Networks, College Admissions Scandal will center “on the story that captivated a nation where over 50 privileged and elite individuals from across the country were exposed for criminally conspiring to influence the undergraduate admissions decisions at some of America’s top schools.”

The Internet is assuming this movie will focus on Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin.

@runningjoke / Twitter

While there were plenty of high-profile names involved in the scandal, including several fathers, the Internet is taking a cue from A+E’s own description of the movie. According to A+E, “College Admissions Scandal will follow two wealthy mothers who share an obsession with getting their teenagers into the best possible college.”

“When charismatic college admissions consultant Rick Singer offers a side door into the prestigious institutions of their dreams, they willingly partake with visions of coveted acceptance letters in their heads. But when Singer cooperates with the FBI and pleads guilty, the mothers who risked everything for their kids, must face the consequences of their crimes and the loss of trust and respect from their families.”

Here’s a breakdown of the charges.

@historyjk / Twitter

Felicity Huffman pled guilty to paying $15,000 to boost her daughter’s SAT scores. Huffman and husband, William H. Macy, are parents to Sofia Grace Macy. Since the chaos, Sofia has put her college plans on hold, taking at least a year off.

Ironically, Felicity Huffman has previously played the role of a criminally-minded mother on screen.

@swim24 / Twitter

Huffman is best known for her role as Lynette in Desperate Housewives. During Season 1, she “donates” $15,000 to an elite private school to get her twin boys accepted. During a tour of the school, the headmaster suggests that they make a generous donation to secure the spot, so the family sells their boat and the boys go off to school. 🤯

Meanwhile, Lori Loughlin has pled “not guilty” to a much bigger charge.

@THR / Twitter

Lori Loughlin and her husband, Mossimo Giannulli, were both indicted on fraud and money laundering charges for paying $500,000 to “admissions consultant” Rick Singer. The donation went to Singer’s nonprofit organization, Key Worldwide Foundation, which prosecutors are alleging is just a front for accepting bribes.

Loughlin’s two daughters, Olivia Jade and Isabella Rose, were designated as crew team recruits for USC, though they’ve never played crew, and are not listed on the USC women’s rowing roster. If convicted, Loughlin and Giannulli could spend up to 20 years in prison on each charge.

The television network may have already released the names of the cast.

@davidmackau / Twitter

Currently, all the Internet can think about is who will be cast to play who. While some are rooting for their favorite actresses, others don’t want them dragged into this mess.

Writer, Stephen Tolkin, has already co-created a series with Loughlin.

@SarahWatson42 / Twitter

Tolkin and Loughlin co-created Summerland together. That time, Loughlin’s character was the hero raising her niece and nephews after their parents die. This time, Tolkin may be using his intimate working relationship with Loughlin to depict her character on screen. It is to be determined if Tolkin be objective in this new movie.

By the time the movie is released, the public should know whether Loughlin is guilty or innocent.

@TheHEartBroke / Twitter

Still, many students, especially first-generation students, are left with loan debt and a decreasing number of opportunities for college graduates.

Despite obstacles, Latinos and POC have been getting into college without help from SAT rigging and privilege.

According to the Pew Research Center, there are fewer and fewer Latino students going to college. In fact, despite how rapidly the Latino community is growing in the U.S., a widening education gap lands us at half as likely to hold a college degree as non-Latino white adults according to The Education Trust.

‘My Mom Insisted My Hips Changed’ Latinas Talk About Their Moms Finding Out They Had Sex For The First Time

Entertainment

‘My Mom Insisted My Hips Changed’ Latinas Talk About Their Moms Finding Out They Had Sex For The First Time

There comes a time in a young woman’s life when she has to venture out into the world and experience everything out there that the world has to offer. And yes, “everything” includes sex. And while sex is a totally natural and expected step in a young woman’s coming-of-age journey, the Latinx community often holds notoriously conservative views about when it’s “okay” for a young woman to have sex for the first time.

This conservative attitude towards woman and sex is nowhere more prominent than it is in the minds of Latinx mothers. Many Latinx moms, especially from older generations, have been trained to believe that a young woman’s worth is tied to her virginity and that it’s a sin to have sex out of wedlock. This attitude makes it hard for girls to talk to their parents about sex, which means a large portion of the Latina population is uneducated about STIs, unwanted pregnancy, contraception, and how being sexually active can impact your emotions. Because of the shame surrounding extramarital sex in the Latinx community, many young women hide the fact that they’ve been having sex from their mothers in order to avoid conflict or avoid being shamed.

That’s why Fierce by mitú took to our Instagram page to ask our followers how their madres reacted when they found out their daughters were no longer virgins. We also wanted to know if our followers decided to keep their virginity statuses to themselves.

Check out the answers below!

1. This mom’s nosiness gave her more than she bargained for

@addictivestock/Instagram

“My mom found out I was having sex when I was 23 years old and she found my birth control (cringe!). This is a pretty common story I share with a lot of my friends but the way my mom found out was pretty mortifying. My novio, who I have been dating since I was 14 and who she has known for as many years, was over at the house. Because my mom has always been very nosey and a helicopter mom I would give him my birth control for safe keeping (For so many reasons Don’t DO THIS!!) Anyway. The birth control fell out of his bag and my mom flipped out. Any other scenario, had I hid it in a closet or sock drawer she would have found out sooner but I probably could have convinced her it was just for acne.” – Veronica, Chicago

2. This mama read between the lines and stayed silent

@lcdfotografia/Instagram

“I kind of had to fess up to my mom because I was moving in with my boyfriend. She’d been asking me since we started dating if I was using protection over and over again and I was too embarrassed to even say that we were having sex. I finally just told her that I was moving in with him and I think she got the deal.” Kathryn, Los Angeles

3. This mom insisted she could tell by just LOOKING at her daughter

@addictivestock/Instagram

“I told my mom years after, but she swears she knew the night I came home that it happened. I’m like c’mon, Mom. No way did you know. But, you know how they are–they know EVERYTHING.” – Laney, San Bernadino

4. The old “hyper-emotional” reaction

@addictivestock/Instagram

“My mom cried so so hard and then instantly got mad at me and gave me the silent treatment. She also claimed she “knew” that I wasn’t anymore anyhow ’cause I “started talking back”. But, I was 21 at that point!” – Yvette

5. The mom who doesn’t know…but c’mon: she knows

@precious.earth.nature/Instagram

“To [my mom] I’m still [a virgin] ’till I’m married….Nahhh I think she probably suspects I’m not by now”. – Connie, Southern California

6. The mom who lives in blissful ignorance

@maarjavahiphotography/Instagram

“I’m 30 years old and still haven’t told my mom. At this point she’s gotta suspect I’m not [a virgin]. But at least I waited until I was 19!” Anna, Chicago

7. The Suffocating Silence

@jevgenijasorokina/Instagram

“Literally my current situation, lol. I want to tell her but, I’m afraid of her reaction. I don’t think she’ll be mad, but I really would hate for her to cry about it. Send help!” Darlene, Riverside

8. The “Live Your Life” Type of Mom

@olga_lukaneva/Instagram

“I keep it to myself, but I’m pretty sure she knows me better. 😉 ” – Belle, Puerto Rico

9. The “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” Policy

@bailandoconjulieta/Instagram

“She never asked and I never told her… but for what it’s worth, I waited till I was at least 18.” Tania, Los Angeles

10. The Mom Who Tries and Fails to Guilt Trip

@glam_.dps/Instagram

“She said: ‘Why didnt [you] wait ’till marriage like [I] told over and over again?’. So, I said: “Who said I’ll ever get married?” Lizet, Bakersfield, CA

11. This mom who started crying when she walked in on the act

glam_.dps / Instagram

“I had skipped school to lose my virginity to my high school boyfriend. We had planned it out so that I would play sick and he would skip school and do it when my parents were out of the house. They boy work long hours so we figured we had some time. The actual act went well, but literally just as we finished we heard my front door open. No snuggling. We both jumped up to hide. I’ve always thought it took maybe 30 steps to get from my front door to my room, my mom took five. My boyfriend ducked out of the bathroom and somehow my mom got to the front of the house to confront him. I mean he had no shirt on and was pulling him his pants. She knew. She knew so much she cried.”  Ana, Austin, TX

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