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Faces of STLCC

Meramec Campus

Wife, Mother, Business Owner, College Student

Jennifer Hayth

Thirty-seven is not the typical age one usually starts college, but Jennifer Hayth is not your typical college student. Jennifer, now 42, is a married mother of two, business owner, and currently a STLCC student dually enrolled at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. While raising her children, who are now 25 and 22, she also started a pet-sitting business called Baby Your Pet, which requires working seven days a week. It is a schedule she keeps to this day.

As her children grew up and eventually went to college themselves, Jennifer started to think about enrolling as well.
“I didn’t really enjoy high school, so to have a second opportunity to fall in love with education has been a good thing. One of the regrets I have in life is not returning to school sooner,” she said, “and my husband was positive and supportive about me going back to school."

Jennifer originally enrolled in the Meramec nursing program. However, two semesters away from graduation, Jennifer had a change of heart and switched gears, focusing on social work instead.

“My original idea was to get a RN in nursing, and then a master’s in counseling. But as I went along, as I worked clinicals in the hospital, a lot of these people were having anxiety with surgery, or they were elderly, and they were alone. A lot of my time in clinicals was spent sitting there and talking with patients making them more comfortable and at ease. I found out I liked that more than distributing medication or putting in an IV,” she added, “Emotional pain is more devastating than physical pain.”

Not only does Jennifer attend classes at Meramec, she attends classes at Wildwood as well, and over the course of her college career, she has taken classes at all of the STLCC campuses.

Even with her business and classes, Jennifer still finds time to stay fit and exercise. Hiking, bowling and softball are some of her favorite pastimes. Roller skating is also one of Jennifer’s favorite ways to exercise, which led to her interest in roller derby.

Roller derby has a history of colorful, theatrical names. When asked about what name she would choose, Jennifer instantaneously had an answer.

“Jammin’ Jenny,” she replied with a big smile. “I just love skating and competing so much, I know I would love it!  With school and the business, it’s a time issue, but roller derby is something I want to do.”

When asked about returning to school, Jennifer said, “Just go for it. Everyone here (at STLCC) is so encouraging…it really will change your life and give you a broader view of the world. Academically and personally, it’s been a positive experience…you’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain. The professors here are very student oriented and want you to do well and succeed.”

“I appreciate and value education much more now than when I was younger,” she added, “but I don’t regret staying home and raising my kids and taking care of my family.”

Wife. Mother. Business owner. College student. Aspiring roller derby queen. Jennifer has a lot on her plate, but she is determined to let nothing stop her. Her motto is “You’re never too old to grow younger.” When asked for a final comment, she sat back, thought about it a bit, and confidently said "No one can hold you back in life except yourself."