By Steven Lahood —
By now, Trameka Pope should have earned her bachelor’s degree from Western Illinois University, where she enrolled as high school valedictorian, AP student and cheerleader with scholarships galore in 2015.
And she did it all with a baby she had in the eighth grade that left her homeless for some time.
Trameka refused to abort (or kill) her baby, the course urged upon girls her age in similar circumstances. She decided to choose life — and to let her child motivate her to lead a better life.
“I didn’t give up,” she told LifeSite news. “I pushed myself hard. And my baby motivated me every day because I wanted to provide for her, and I also didn’t want to be a statistic.”
Trameka found motivation in God and her baby. “I was told that God didn’t make mistakes and He wouldn’t give anyone a child who wasn’t ready for one.”
As a pregnant 14-year-old in Chicago, Trameka defied the odds. She neither aborted nor dropped out of school. Instead, she stood out at Chicago’s Wendell Phillips Academy High School. She took college prep classes, joined the National Honor Society, became a cheerleader and held a job at a grocery store.
“I always said that I wanted to make change, and I wanted to be in the history books, and I started with myself,” Trameka says. “I didn’t give up. I pushed myself hard. And my baby motivated me every day because I wanted to provide for her, and I also didn’t want to be a statistic.”
She won $600,000 in scholarships for college. Her ultimate goal is a PhD in social work, according to Huffington Post.
“No matter what background you come from, it doesn’t matter if you have a child as a teen, no matter what people say about you, you still can, you can make it,” Trameka says. “And you can become something.”
Steven Lahood studies at the Lighthouse Christian Academy in Los Angeles.