Fifth-Year Senior: ‘I Want to Prove Everybody Wrong’

By Trent Freeman, Treehouse Marketing and Communications

Samantha is a fifth-year senior at Interlake High School and the mother of a beautiful 2-year-old boy. She is inspired to provide a better life for her son than she has had.

“I don’t want my son to ever go through what I had to go through. I just want him to know that he has a mom that got it together. And know that she has a good job and went to college,” said Samantha, 18. “I want him to know that if he ever needs something, that I’ll give it to him right there and then. It’s important to me to be a great role model to my son.”

The biggest challenge was when her beloved grandmother passed away three days after her son was born.

“She was my mom, my dad, my everything. She raised me since I was six months old,” Samantha said.

Her studies suffered as she grieved and started working to provide for her son.

“I wanted to make sure he had the best stroller, the best car seat, the best clothes. I just wanted him to have everything perfect,” Samantha said. “I got really off task with school.”

At the same time, her parenting skills soared.

“She’s an amazing mom,” said Jamie Burns, Senior Education Specialist in Treehouse’s Graduation Success program, who has been working with Samantha for almost four years. “Just watching her over the last two years and thinking about where I was when I was her age—what she’s able to do, she blows me away. Every time I see her with her son—the love, the care is amazing.”

A year ago, Samantha realized the only path forward for her and her son was an education, and she started working extremely hard to graduate from high school as a first step.

She has taken online classes to catch up, and this past summer, she took two classes and aced them. The state pays for childcare during the regular school year but not during the summer, which made summer school even more difficult.

“It’s a lot of work,” Jamie said. “You know most kids want to have summers off and go play with friends, but Sam stayed really focused and has her eye on graduating this year.”

Samantha hasn’t decided on a career yet. Her dream job is to become a lawyer, but she is realistic about the amount of school required. She’s thinking maybe an interpreter.

She’s fluent in Spanish and is teaching her son both languages. Or maybe a nurse.

“When I got sick or my son got sick, I could resolve it in like two minutes!” she said of being a nurse.

First, she has to graduate from high school.

“A lot of people tell me, ‘You’re not going to graduate because you’re a teen mom.’ I want to prove everybody wrong,” Samantha said.

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About the Author

Trent Freeman is the Associate Director of Marketing & Communications at Treehouse.

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