Student makes 4.0 despite challenges

A Dillard junior history major who has earned a 4.0 while parenting her 7-month-old and her teen sister while working part-time says being focused makes the difference.


Lydia Stewart of Galveston, Texas, says, “Instead of watching TV, hit the books… Instead of going to the basketball games, hit the books.” She adds that studying a bit at a time rather than cramming really helps as well.


Stewart had her daughter, Olivia, last year, but she says she already had been caring for years for her sister, Rebecca. It became official after her mother’s death of cancer last year.


Stewart is a member of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority and works on weekends at a downtown spa. How does she do it? As she describes it, long days – from 7:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. – and lots of support from fiancé Bradley Wilson, also a DU student, and friends ChaValier Sharps and Maime Butler.


Stewart arrived at Dillard in fall 2006 and stayed for a year before leaving to attend LSU for a semester and a half; she had to quit to care for her ill mother. She returned to Dillard in spring 2009.


She credits Dr. Toya Barnes-Teamer, vice president of Student Success, and financial aid counselor Shannon Neal, for providing assistance and showing they really cared through her trials.