Life of a Teen Parent: A Story of Determination and Motivation

I graduated with my GED at the age of 17. I graduated early because I moved out of town and the new school told me that the classes I took were not equivalent to the classes that they offered there. They moved me from the 12th grade to the 10th grade. Crushed, I decided to look into other options. I found a GED program and I got my GED in a month. Lucky thing I did because a month later I found out I was pregnant with my first child at the age of 17.

I quickly found a job and work until I was 8 1/2 months pregnant. After having my baby, I became homeless. My baby and I were picked up in the shelter’s white van and driven to a shelter that was far from my home. I had no idea where the closest grocery store was or how to get back to my hometown. The shelter where I was living at burned down on my first day of college. Many people who lived in the shelter got emergency housing, but the people at the housing authority said my name was not on the list. I did not take no for an answer.

Because he people in charge of the shelter did not want to help me I went to the speak with my state representative and told them my story. They help me find housing. If I took no for answer from the shelter staff or the housing authority, I would have never received housing from that same housing authority. Shortly after that I got a job and continued on to college.

After two semesters, I ended up getting two part-time jobs so I had to leave school. After working two part-time jobs for about a year I ended up pregnant with my second child. One of my part-time jobs found out that I was pregnant and told me that they did not have any money to pay me anymore.

After having my daughter, I worked for a year and was laid off. Still determined to support my family, I motivated myself to go back to school. While I was in school I took up biotechnology. Lots of people told me it would be hard for me to do with two kids. I was determined to prove those people wrong. 

While I went to school I did work-study. I worked on creating labs for other students. I also received a full tuition scholarship called the Homeland Security Leadership scholarship, graduated with honors, was awarded the 29 Who Shine Award, and two of my research project were selected to be presented at New England Science Symposium at Harvard Medical School.

Determination and motivation is about not taking “no” for an answer; It’s about not letting anyone tell you that you cannot do something; It’s about telling yourself yes, when others tell you no; It’s about looking at all of your options; It’s about never given up even when someone kicks you down; It’s about taking one step forward and two steps back and then learning from your mistakes so the next time you can take two steps forward, prepared for the next time you fall a step back.


For a long time, I felt like my entire life revolved around the word "no". I can totally relate to your story. Not letting others dictate where you will or will not go is super important. Thanks for sharing! :)

Thank you for sharing your story. I can relate on many levels... from the homelessness/shelter situation, to speaking up to state representatives, to juggling college while being a parent. It certainly isn't easy. And having people who doubt you, or do not want to help you makes it even harder. But luckily you made it out very successfully despite your hardships. I hope I am able to say the same (I'm still in college). Again thanks for sharing! XOXO

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