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Reading: Homeless teen mom becomes High School valedictorian, gets $600K University scholarships
Reading: Homeless teen mom becomes High School valedictorian, gets $600K University scholarships

Homeless teen mom becomes High School valedictorian, gets $600K University scholarships

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Festus Conteh
By Festus Conteh 285 Views 3 Min Read
3 Min Read
Homeless teen mom becomes High School valedictorian, gets $600K University scholarships
Homeless teen mom becomes High School valedictorian, gets $600K University scholarships

Homeless teen mom Trameka Pope is a shining example of what can be achieved despite major challenges. She became pregnant in eighth grade and gave birth during ninth grade. Despite this, she was still able to graduate first in her class and be named valedictorian of Wendell Phillips Academy High School. Pope also managed to hold down a job, complete extracurricular activities, and be accepted to more than 25 colleges. She was able to achieve success thanks to the help of Dawn Jackson, her social worker, the support of her school counselors, and the assistance of the non-profit, SGA Youth and Family Services. Pope is now planning to attend Western Illinois University in the fall and wants to earn a Ph.D. in social work.

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Despite facing numerous obstacles and having few resources, Trameka Pope, an 18-year-old Chicagoan, is a shining example of what can be achieved with hard work and determination. Having fallen pregnant in eighth grade and giving birth in ninth grade, Pope still managed to graduate first in her class and be named valedictorian of Wendell Phillips Academy High School. In addition to her academic success, Pope held down a job at a local grocery store, participated in cheerleading and National Honor Society, and was accepted to more than 25 colleges, receiving over $600,000 in scholarships.

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Pope credits her success to Dawn Jackson, her social worker, the support of her school counselors, and the assistance of the non-profit, SGA Youth and Family Services, who enable Chicago’s youth, families, and communities to understand their potential and find fresh routes to achievement. Pope is now planning to attend Western Illinois University in the fall and wants to earn a Ph.D. in social work. 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.” Pope herself said, “I always claimed that I wanted to make change and that I wanted to be in the history books, and I started with myself. 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.”

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Festus Conteh is an international youth that functions conveniently in all forms of writing including article writing, news, script, content writing, constitution and project/proposal writing. Writing is fun to Festus and has brought fame and recognition in his clime. In 2019, he was awarded best upcoming writer in an online writing completion that was organized by the Association of Sierra Leonean Authors (ASLA). After his impactful contribution to national development and cohesion through writing, he was nominated for the African Genius Award for the Best Writer in Africa Award Category an award he lost to one of the greatest African Writers - Chinua Achebe. In 2022, Festus was one of the applicants to the Commonwealth Youth Council (CYC) as Vice Chairperson (Policy and Advocacy) a process that met imperil feedback. As a freelancer, Festus has written articles for magazines, newspapers, and media houses and his articles have attracted big media houses including BBC, Aljazeera and Legit. Ng and is the Head of Programs at Salone Messenger a public relations firm based in Sierra Leone with the latest news and information. He is the founder of Africa’s Wakanda a platform that spotlight the beauty of Africa. Festus is also a perpetual volunteer in life-changing causes and has shown great commitment and dedication to being a catalyst and solution to the challenges faced by young people like himself. Festus currently serves as the Secretary General of the Africa Youth Leaders movement which is a network of youth between the ages of 20 – 30 years who have shown achievement, leadership potential and commitment to make a difference. Festus is also the Africa Focal Point of Youth for Change Initiative, which is a platform through which young people can access resources, be empowered and given the opportunity to grow to become useful members of society who will participate in the development of their communities and nation. Along with another Africa Youth platform, Festus has Co-Founded the Future of Africa initiative which is an advocate forum with the aim to bring together local and international socio-economic stakeholders to support innovative programs aimed at advancing the radical and practical progress of adoption awareness-vulnerable children and youth and youth leadership-through interlinking local, regional and international resources and opportunities.