Amber Booth
Senior Diversity Specialist
Center for Diversity Affairs, UAMS

Greetings!  My name is Amber N. Booth. I am a proud Alum of Single Parent Scholarship Fund.  SPSF was a huge blessing and extremely instrumental in achieving my undergraduate aspirations.  Often becoming a single parent can deter, derail, or detain dreams of higher education.  My son Jaiden was born December 2005, my sophomore year of college.  It took all I had to return to school January 2006.  I was determined to complete my degree for myself and my son.  After being introduced to the SPSF in 2007 my load was lighter.  Through hard work, dedication and perseverance, I graduated from UALR in December 2010 with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology.  My personal battles in life have given me a strength I was unaware I possessed. I battled many issues; depression, anxiety, and more.  It’s one of the reasons I chose to study the field of Psychology. I want to assist in normalizing mental health, especially in marginalized communities. I am currently working on a MS in Psychology- Psychology, Public Administration and Social Change.  If all goes as planned I will graduate fall 2018.

Currently, I work at UAMS in the Center for Diversity Affairs as a Senior Diversity Specialist.  I absolutely love my job.  It is a beautiful feeling to be passionate when I go to work. One of the reasons I love my job is simply the need for diversity and inclusion in today’s society.  My position allows me to speak about things people shy away from such as sexism, racism, classism, and more.  I train on Cultural Humility, and the importance of inclusion.  Also, I coordinated a summer program for K-6th grade, Junior STEM Academy. We just completed the pilot class this summer. I encourage my fellow SPSF parents to look into the program.  It’s a science exposure program.  (http://cda.uams.edu/prgm/jsa/)

SPSF is much more than funds for bills. It’s a network of other parents with a dream of higher education and a better life for their children.  My son Jaiden is now eleven years old.  I am able to push him towards higher education and use myself as an example of completion.  SPSF and all the mothers and fathers I met along the way reminded me “Yes we can”.  The emails of encouragement or events that provided outlets.  I remember SPFS hosted a dinner one semester I was in school.  It was parents only.  I remember dragging my feet and not wanting to attend.  I told myself the last thing I felt like doing that day was listening to other parents talk about their kids for hours.  I went to this event half-heartedly and was exactly where I needed to be. I spent 3 hours in gut-busting laughter with parents I barely knew. It was a perfect evening.  When I think of SPSF, that’s my memory!  A group of parents, laughing at a table, about any and everything.  It was just what I needed.  Thank you SPSF for everything!