Teens Talk: The First Diploma

Despite the challenges motherhood presented, a teenage mother in The Bronx, New York City, credits her daughter and a math teacher with motivating her to pursue her high school diploma and become the first person in her family to graduate from high school.

“Two years ago graduating high school was not even in my plans. I was doing horribly in school. Going to a school that has metal detectors is stressful. You have to stand in line 25 minutes to an hour. I would only go in third period and come out fourth. I went third period because I knew they didn’t take attendance first and second….I just wasn’t interested in school.

Then, when I was 17, I gave birth to my daughter. Getting pregnant changed my approach tremendously. I thought, I’m pregnant, I don’t have a diploma. What am I going to be, working the rest of my life [for] $7.25 an hour? No. I have to graduate, go to college. Being a mom, still going to high school, is overwhelming at the beginning. But I had this math teacher who encouraged me to go on with school. ¬†She always said that she saw something in me.”


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