Homeless teen mom becomes High School valedictorian, gets $600K scholarships
She fell pregnant by the eighth grade. She also gave birth by the ninth grade. Nevertheless, she went on to graduate first in her class and was named Wendell Phillips Academy High School valedictorian.
Chicagoan Trameka Pope, an 18-year-old student, has surmounted several challenges. She and her mother lost their homes when she was in elementary school.
“I always claimed that I wanted to make change and that I wanted to be in the history books, and I started with myself,” Pope told Fox News 32.
She said, “I kept trying. I exerted a lot of effort. And my infant inspired me every day to work hard so that I could support her and avoid becoming a statistic.
Pope has been been accepted to more than 25 colleges, and she has received more than $600,000 in scholarships.
This fall, she is planning to attend Western Illinois University in the fall and wants to earn a Ph.D. in social work.
Pope didn’t just excel academically. She was a cheerleader, a member of National Honor Society, and she even participated in several other extracurricular activities. She even held down a job at a local grocery store.
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She is the first black valedictorian at her High School in 152 years
Pope credits her success to Dawn Jackson, her social worker, as well as her school’s counselors and a unique non-profit called SGA Youth and Family Services.
SGA enables Chicago’s youth, families, and communities to understand their potential and find fresh routes to achievement despite facing significant obstacles and having few resources. The company has a proven track record.
Jackson declared, “You still can, you can make it, and you can become anything, no matter what background you come from, no matter if you had a child as a teenager, no matter what people think about you.