And we are so proud of them!
The Georgia Chaffee TAPP School in Louisville, Kentucky runs a teenage parent program specifically designed to reduce school dropouts as a result of teen pregnancy and parenting, WLKY news reports. The school caters to young parents, offering them an educational opportunity to excel while offering wrap-around services like childcare, medical support and family resources. The goal is to address all of the external obstacles that may prevent the young moms from continuing their education.
Last week, 17 of the mothers gathered together, majority of them African American, for a special graduation ceremony to receive their high school diplomas, Blacknews.com reports. Surrounded by family and friends, they took the stage in their pink cap and gowns to celebrate their achievements at Northeast Christian Church.
Many of the moms said they were grateful to have earned their diploma in spite of the odds, noting that while the program was challenging, the reward was worth it.
“It’s been very challenging. Especially waking up at 5 o'clock in the morning every morning. I have to get myself ready and then my baby and get on the bus by a certain time but I made it work…I feel nervous but I’m also ready to get started with my life, with my adult life,” said 18-year-old Ronyale Wilson.
At the ceremony, TAPP school principal, Dr. Delena Alexander had all of the moms repeat an affirmation, reminding them of what’s possible when they put the work in and stick to their goals.
“I am beautiful, I am seen, I am a mommy striving for my dream,” repeated the graduates.
The moms credited the school and its abundance of resources with helping them make it to the finish line. Now that they’ve graduated, some are headed to college, with others looking to pursue careers in nursing. Wilson called the moment “emotional,” as she reflected on how far she’s come.
“It’s just emotional because we’re done, we did it. We got through it with babies. People doubted us, but we did it and got through all the stuff,” she explained.
Congratulations to all of the graduates!
Cover photo: Group of teen moms beat the odds to graduate from high school/Photo Courtesy of WAVE/Blacknews.com