Balancing it all: First responder, mom, college student finds time to climb Mount Kilimanjaro

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HOBOKEN -

A Caldwell University student is balancing being a parent, a student and working two jobs, as well as training to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, and then doing it.

"I climbed the well-known Mount Kilimanjaro," says Jessica Arebalo.

It was a dream for the Hoboken native, first responder, mom and Caldwell University senior.

"I'm taking six classes during the daytime Monday through Friday and then I work overnights and Saturdays I do doubles at work," says Arebalo.

Arebalo says it was her mission to summit a major mountain.

She picked Mount Kilimanjaro, spending seven days over winter break climbing it.

"There was many times where I wanted to give up, but I never said it out loud," says Arebalo.

With a group of climbers by her side, they kept her mind clear and her body moving, when temperatures dropped to the double digit negatives.

"We were taking baby steps going up the summit, really, really baby steps, but even those little steps help maintain your body heat," says Arebalo.

It’s a message to share that you can balance it all.

"You can actually manage all of them and not just give it your 20 percent or 30 percent to the other,” says Arebalo. “You can actually give your 100% percent to each task that you do."

Arebalo says she's now focusing on graduating in the spring.

She says she's planning to tackle a mountain in Argentina for her next climb.

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