From dropout to valedictorian
How a teen mom got her education back on track
Kristen was 17 when she found out she was pregnant. She was living with her grandmother after being abandoned by her mother when she was younger. Kristen experienced significant judgement from the staff at her school, making her feel like an outsider. This pushed her to drop out of high school before completing grade 11.
She heard about Rose of Sharon from a friend, who told her about the Care and Treatment program. She immediately reached out and enrolled for the fall semester.
The welcoming and non-judgmental space at Rose of Sharon helped Kristen focus on her school work. She continued attending school until just a few days before her due date. She was so determined that she returned only a week after giving birth to her son.
“There’s no way I would have believed college was a possibility”
Since her son was born, Kristen has attended every day of school that she could. She has built a solid relationship with her counsellor, who supports her with mental health strategies to help her succeed. Having graduated from Rose of Sharon’s program, Kristen was accepted by Seneca College to take its medical administration program.
“I am so thankful for Rose of Sharon,” Kristen says. “Without them, there’s no way I would have believed college was a possibility, or that I would graduate high school with the honour of being the class valedictorian.”
Photo: A young mother reads to her child at Rosalie Hall