Like a true Phoenix, Kaite finds her calling

Photo by Dan Moore, University Photographer

Submitted photo

Meet Kaite Rabideau, newly minted UW-Green Bay Associate Degree of Arts and Science’s graduate. As a first-generation student, mother of two and aspiring teacher, she is ready to rise like the Phoenix she is.

Kaite was 13 when she got pregnant and became a mother at age 14. For most people, this situation would stop you in your tracks. Not Kaite. At 15, she worked with the Montello schools board to complete her high school diploma virtually, and in less than two years. At the ripe age of 16, and with her son Wyatt at her side, Kaite received her high school diploma.

Kaite went on to pursue a career in nursing. She earned her CNA license and started working while going to school at NWTC. “I would do my homework when he was with me and when he wasn’t I would work double-shifts,” said Rabideau. She realized quickly that nursing was not her passion.

Motivated by a love of learning, she started looking for other options, namely, how to earn her teaching degree. When speaking with UW-Green Bay, she was amazed and the kindness and accommodation that the school could provide.  “When I called, I would feel so bad because I had all of these questions, and everyone I talked to was so nice, understanding and so helpful. Why would I not come here?” She enrolled at UW-Green Bay in the pre-education track and found her calling. Balancing a young child, day care, work and school wasn’t easy, but Kaite persevered, and on December 16, will realize one giant step in her dream to become a teacher.

Submitted photo

Kaite wants her unconventional educational journey to inspire everyone; from young teenage mothers like herself to current students who feel afraid to change their major to do something they love. She offers sage advice. “Don’t be scared. Go with what your heart wants to do, it is your time and time is very valuable and precious.”

Most importantly, she wants to show her (now) two boys that anything is possible, no matter what might stand in your way. “I have a lot of motivation,” said Rabideau. “I like to prove people wrong, and my parents have supported me tremendously. I love learning, I love school and I want to make my sons proud.”

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