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18-year-old mom graduates from high school at top of class: 'I'm determined to make my son proud'

Photo: Saylaurenn via Twitter

Lauren Spencer, an 18-year-old from Atlanta, just graduated from high school, in the top 5 percent of her class and with 15 college-credit hours under her belt. She accomplished all this while pregnant with her son. “I’m so proud of myself,” Spencer wrote in an essay for Love What Matters. And who could blame her?

In her essay, Spencer writes that until last year she was the “good child” who “always played by the rules” — and that her family was shocked when she got pregnant during her senior year of high school. “The feeling of disappointing my family was definitely new for me, being that I had been a straight-A student who stayed out of trouble.”

Spencer knew that pregnancy meant that getting her high school diploma would be that much more difficult, but she refused to stop pursuing her dreams. “At that moment, I decided I did not have to become a disappointment because I was pregnant,” she wrote. “I could still keep my grades up and go on to do big things. It would just be more of a challenge with a baby.”

“It was far from easy, battling with pregnancy symptoms while being a full-time student,” Spencer wrote. “I remember nights being extremely exhausted but having to stay up to finish lab reports, essays, etc.”


At the time Spencer became pregnant, she was enrolled in both high school and college courses — she was doing so well that she was able to finish classes in winter — months ahead of graduation. “My counselor let me know that I qualified to graduate in December,” she wrote. “I jumped at this opportunity. I was able to rest and prepare for my little one until my due date in March.” And her final average was 94. “This put me in the top 5 percent of my class.”

Many on social media have been impressed by Spencer’s success. Her tweet announcing her graduation has 41,000 likes.

The new mom will be starting college in the fall at Georgia State University. “I know it will be challenging, but I am determined to make not only myself but my son proud,” she wrote.

“I am not in any way encouraging teen pregnancy; I just want to encourage others who are in the same situation,” she wrote. “I want them to know it is not the end of the world, and they can still go on to accomplish great things, which is exactly what I plan to do.”

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