DePaul University Newsline > Sections > Campus and Community > A Mother’s Day drive to help out DePaul's student parents

A Mother’s Day drive to help out DePaul's student parents

Dr. Ann Russo, Ilse Arciniega, and Brenda Washington
Mothers of Color Handling Academia is led by President Ilse Arciniega, center, and supported by Ann Russo, left, director of the Women's Center and professor in the Department of Women's and Gender Studies, and Brenda Washington, a staff assistant for the Department of Catholic Studies.

Students who are parents make up a population that can be overlooked in higher education. Even though more than 1 in 5 college students are raising children, and most student parents, according to a 2019 study, have a child under the age of six.

Raising a child while attending college requires a balancing of responsibilities and a lot of time, energy and money. To help DePaul students with children, the Basic Needs Hub reached out to the student organization Mothers of Color Handling Academia, or MOCHA.

The two groups are teaming with the Student Government Association's Student Affairs Committee for a diapers, wipes and formula drive next week, ahead of Mother's Day, to gather supplies that student parents need.

"Through this drive, we can at least assist someone with one month or even a couple of weeks of resources," says MOCHA president and DePaul graduate student Ilse Arciniega. "It's nice to know that someone doesn't have to make the decision of buying diapers for the month or paying tuition or paying rent."

Donations of diapers, baby wipes or infant formula can be dropped off in Basic Needs Hub bins located at the Lincoln Park Student Center's information desk and the DePaul Center's Room 9700 on the Loop Campus. Donations can also be made online through

DePaul student Victoria Mora formed MOCHA in the 2018-2019 academic year as a capstone project for a Women's and Gender Studies course. While mothers have the biggest presence in MOCHA, fathers and caregivers in general are welcome to join MOCHA and participate in programs and events that bring awareness to barriers that restrict access to or success in education.

MOCHA paused its activities during the pandemic. Now, Arciniega says, MOCHA is eager to start again.

"A lot of what MOCHA is doing is advocacy and attempting to re-establish the [student parent] resources that were once at the university while also implementing new resources that we would find useful based off the community needs. We're also looking for visibility. We want student offices and organizations at the university to become aware of us and see how they can work with us."

Patricia Nicandro is marketing and communications manager for the Department of Housin​​g and Residence Life.