Sarah’s Story part of the #SheBelievedSheCould series
I got pregnant at the age of 15. At that age, I didn’t see things very clearly and became quickly trapped in a relationship with the boy that got me pregnant. I thought for sure at the time it was love.
One day I decided to have a meeting with my guidance counselor in my high school to discuss what my future may look like. As many of you remember this when were in high school but my circumstance was a little different since I was pregnant. At this moment in my life as well, I was dealing with the opinions of many on if I should keep the baby or give it up for adoption.
During my meeting the counselor, he looked me straight in the face and told me that if I kept my baby I would probably drop out of high school and would mostly certainly probably never go to college.
However, he didn’t know me very well enough to know I was an ultimate “go-getter”. In my life if I wanted something, I would go after it especially when someone tells me I cannot.
At the end of my sophomore year of high school, I gave birth. I had to learn very quickly how to juggle school and be a new mom. To say it was overwhelming is an understatement. But I never wanted to give up. I decided to enroll in vocational and received my CNA license half-way through my Junior year of high school.
That was when high school really became hard for me. I was selected by my peer to represent our school on the Homecoming court. Faculty were really upset and most other parents as well because I was a teenage Mom and was not fit to represent our school, even though I maintained good grades and good rapport with my peers.
This was the last straw for me.
I was not going to continue to go to a school that could not see my potential despite my past “mistakes” as they saw them.
I switched to an alternative high school in a neighboring community that offered high school diplomas and not a GED and I finished the rest of my Junior year AND Senior year of academic work in 6 months. I graduated a year earlier than I was supposed to and in 2008 enrolled in my first college semester. I Believed I Could So I Did!
Moving Forward in Life
After high school and starting of college, I went on with life to give birth to my second baby in the Fall of 2008, get married and endure several years of abuse from my husband at the time.
However, even though I continued to be put through obstacles, one thing remained consistent in my life. It was my determination to never give up on my dreams of that college degree.
When I walked across the stage to gradate with my Associate in Business Management in the Spring of 2013 I could barely see because my eyes were so full of tears.
All I could hear was the counselor telling 15 year old, pregnant me, that I would basically never amount to anything.
Yet here I was with my first college degree. It took me 5 years to get my Associate degree but I never, ever quit. After taking a few years off I eventually decided to go back to college and recently earned my Bachelor degree in Business Administration in their accelerated program, all online. Again I believed I could so I did!
Believe in Yourself
You literally can do ANYTHING you set your mind to. I had so many obstacles thrown my way and still do. Life is never perfect, confidence is up and down and self-love is a journey. I had to figure out how to make it work sometimes but that fire in me burned brighter than the challenges that were trying to tear me down.
So just remember if you believe you can do it, you can!
A little about contributor writer Sarah Gilbert: I currently work for our family business as an office manager, been there for 5 years. I have 3 wonderful sons – Keygon is 11, Kaydence is 9 and Kahne is 3. A loving boyfriend, Jason, of 6 years. And I enjoy anything that lets me use my creativity in crafting.