COLLEGE POINT — A graduate student with a one-year-old son is getting help to pay for daycare while she concentrates on her studies, thanks to a pro-life foundation dedicated to assisting pregnant students and those with young children.
Kishauna Givans, a graduate of Queens College who is now pursuing her master’s in public health at the City University of New York Graduate School of Public Health, was recently awarded a $1,000 scholarship from the Kathleen Mullally Foundation.
Givans, 32, intends to put the money toward daycare costs for her little boy, Aiydan. “I appreciate the money. It will help a lot,” she said.
Josephine Rose, the foundation’s president, presented Givans with the check during a reception at The Bridge to Life, a pro-life organization in College Point.
Rose said Givans’s application “jumped off the page” when she read it — making the decision to award her the money an easy one.
Givans, who is from Jamaica, came to the U.S. a few years ago to seek medical treatment for a paralysis that had hit her suddenly.
“I was paralyzed from the neck down and doctors (in Jamaica) told me all the stuff I’ve achieved would be unachievable, for example, having a kid or being able to walk again or having the mobility. Yet here I am today,” she said. With various treatments here in the U.S., she regained mobility.
Givans belongs to the Seventh-Day Adventist Church, a Protestant denomination whose members attend church on Saturdays rather than Sundays. She relied on prayer during her ordeal, and while doctors have still not given her a concrete diagnosis, she believes her condition was connected to migraines she suffered throughout her life.
In 2021, she and her husband Adrian Parkes discovered that they were having a baby. “It was unexpected,” Givans recalled. She was attending Queens College at the time, and made the decision to stay in school.
Recalling her dealings with the medical profession during her illness, she decided to pursue a career in healthcare public policy, to help others navigate the complex system. “I’ve done research on accessibility for health care services and there’s a difference, depending on your community,” she explained.
“She is another shining example of how strong women are, and how inspiring motherhood can be,” Rose said.
Rose, also a graduate of Queens College, established the foundation in 2020 and named it after her late aunt Kathleen Mullally, who never had children of her own but enjoyed close, loving relationships with her nieces and nephews.
Rose sees the scholarship as a tool in combating the notion promoted by pro-abortion advocates — particularly in the wake of the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision on June 24 — that the pro-life community doesn’t care about women.
“Pro-life groups have been the ones providing women with real resources all along, and this scholarship is just one example. We have to continue to show up for mothers, as the lies coming from the abortion lobby have never been more vicious or prevalent,” she explained.
The foundation awarded its first scholarship last year. For now, the award is capped at $1,000 but Rose hopes to expand the scholarship to pay full tuition costs.