It’s a sad but all-too common story – a promising teenager’s life is derailed by a teen pregnancy. With the grim statistics on teen single mothers and how many of them are mired in poverty, it might be hard to see anything positive in the situation.

But Chicago teenager Trameka Pope decided she was not going to be a tragic statistic. Now a high-school senior, Pope has been admitted to 26 colleges and his her high school’s valedictorian, receiving over $80,000 in scholarships.

MyFoxChicago reports: 

“I was told that God don’t make mistakes and he wouldn’t give anyone a child who wasn’t ready for one,” Pope said.

In two weeks, she will graduate from Chicago’s Wendell Phillips High School in the Bronzeville neighborhood.

Pope delivered her baby girl the summer after her 8th grade year.

She and her family have been homeless, but she’s never lost hope or her drive to become great.

“I always said that I wanted to make change and I wanted to be in the history books, and I started with myself,” she told FOX 32.

Pope starts her school day by taking college prep courses at Kennedy-King College. She is taking four classes at Phillips High School, including AP Calculus.

After school, when Pope isn’t cheerleading at a basketball or football game, she works at a local grocery store. She is also a member of the National Honor Society and several other extra curricular groups.

They say it takes a village to raise a child. In this case, it was Chicago Public Schools’ staff who took Pope on college tours.

School counselors also helped her apply for scholarships, as well as a unique non-profit called ‘SGA Youth and Family Services.’ The organization prepares teens to be parents.

Dawn Jackson is Pope’s social worker.

“Everyone loves her. She’s a people person. She has a sweet heart and kind spirit,” Jackson said.

One in four CPS students drop out of high school.

But not Pope.

“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 said.

Pope is heading to Western Illinois University this fall on her way to eventually earning a Ph.D. in Social Work.

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(Picture: MyFoxNews Chicago)


42 thoughts on “Pregnant In Middle School, She’s Now A Valedictorian

  1. Dorothy on said:

    Amen! God said He would never leave you nor forsake you. Keep the faith and remember to ALWAYS KEEP GOD FIRST IN YOUR LIFE and He will take care of you and you baby. Blessings!!

  2. moonglow88 on said:

    good for her! pregnant in 8th grade. Did they ever get the man who raped her? With all her knowledge now, I hope birth control is part of her new life scenario

  3. nickie Davis on said:

    Well I guess I need one 2 I went through middle school and high school with a child on top of it all I finish with 3 extra credit. I went to a 2 year college in finish am a single parent In still have no help but am making it all u have to do is believe in yourself.

  4. I wonder how many of her critics were valedictorians at their high schools, were admitted to 26 colleges, and received over $80,000 in scholarships? Instead of celebrating this young lady accomplishments, all some people can do is put her down, how sad.

  5. Macalaca on said:

    I am not being critical when I say this, I am being serious. A big part of the problem with people who teach their kids that God makes choices for them is they don’t take personal responsibility for their actions. Yes, God decided that a 13 or 14 year old should have a baby. No you decided that and you had sex and sex leads to babies. Never pawn your actions off on God. Thankfully she’s taking responsibility by the horns and running with it but if she continues to think someone else is deciding what her fate is instead of taking credit or responsibility for her own actions, she will eventually be struggling again. God doesn’t put people in debt, He doesn’t give you good grades, He doesn’t get you pregnant and your life is not random, there is a lot of control and you just have to put it into place all the time for life to work. Hopefully she will one day grasp that concept. For now it’s great that she’s making great efforts.

  6. “I was told that God don’t make mistakes and he wouldn’t give anyone a child who wasn’t ready for one.”

    It’s God DOESN’T make mistakes. Don’t = Do not. “God do not make mistakes” does that make sense?

    Good LORD how did she even get past 5th grade?

    • Karlie on said:

      Congrats young lady, you have achieved more than many of the naysayers ever will. God is the judge over all of us, you have definitely overcome many obstacles in your life and will excel. Stay focused.

  7. Rita Baldwin on said:

    I love story turning a bad situation to a good one. Yes she made a mistake nut she didn’t let that mistake keep her from suceeding. Too many times young girls get pregnant and think the world has ended. It hasn’t and thus story is proof of that. I’m sure it hasn’t been easy and I’m sure she received much support from her Mother and extended family and I’m sure a whole lot of prayers were answered. Thanking God for favor over this young lady, her child and family. May God continue blessing you.

  8. Many teenage girls just give up, drop out of school, and continue to have babies out of wedlock, and become depended on welfare for the rest of their lives, this young lady, was determine to continue her education. Going to school full time, and taking care of a baby, now that’s hard work, and she stayed focus, good for her. Getting pregnant in the 8th grade is a terrible thing, but, she was able to turn a negative situation, into something positive, becoming a teenage mother is not the end of the world, people don’t have to let an unwanted pregnancy stop them from becoming whatever they want to be. I’m very proud of Ms. Trameka.

  9. Lisa on said:

    People are speaking not knowing her situation. What if she were raped? no one knows the back story. All that really matters is she has not succumbed to what people expected of her. She has triumphed and will make a better life for herself and her child. People seriously need to stop with the pessimism and be happy for others.

  10. MD Giuest on said:

    As a mother who graduated two daughters out of B more high schools you know what I like about this young lady….she’s not on national TV standing next to Revs Jamall Bryant/Al Sharpton demanding the tax payers give her a job and using it as an excuse to be a THUGTRESS ot she will burn down Chicago!!!! She might not have a mother like me but d@ I’m still proud she knows hardwork and education opens doors not the “govement!!!” Exhale exhale

  11. Brian B on said:

    Judging from her poor use of the language, she still has a long way to go. Also her religious beliefs are not going to make her a good parent, nor does being homeless. I’m glad she’s going to college and learning something about what it takes to be a good parent, but meantime who is going to raise her child? 12 years old is way too young to have sex and give birth. She should have given the baby up for adoption to a healthy family that knows what a child needs.

  12. cmgr on said:

    It’s sad she still thinks that god “gives” people babies when it’s their time. NO. Babies are made when two people have unprotected sex.

  13. milla on said:

    This her own PERSONAL success. What about her kid? Last I checked they DO NOT let you take your kid away to school, so who will be taking care of him/her? And even though she may be a role model for her kid eventually, chances are if she goes to school, cheerleads and works right now, she is pretty much absent from her kid’s life. I don’t know how that can be a success. Things get tougher in college, she will be spending less time with her kid, especially if she has to work AND wants to be social. Sounds like someone else will be probably be watching her kid while she gets all the credit.

    • Ashli on said:

      Actually colleges do let you bring your child. They even have dorms just for students with kids. you guys really need to do some research. You can’t sit here and say she should have done this or that. You guys are ridiculous. While you are shouting everything YOU yourself would do in that situation, she is showing you just how much better she can do. And with everyone putting her down. She still came out on top. Stop telling her what she should have done 4 years ago and applaud her for how far she has made it. At least she is not some hoodrat living off the government.

  14. I am so impressed by this young amazing woman. I wish all teenage moms would realize that having a baby doesn’t mean you cant finish school or go on to college. I had my son in high school and continued on to graduate college by the age of 21. I hope all your dreams come true. Congratulations on all of your hard work. You are setting an amazing example to your child.

  15. Kathy on said:

    I am not surprised by the comments, but taken aback at how cruel and judgmental some of them are…not taking into account the hardships faced by homeless minors. For all we know, and we don’t, this young lady could have possibly been forced into sex. She may have made a bad decision in a moment of uncertainty or the need to acquire or protect herself from something worse. I don’t know too many middle-school-aged children who have all the answers or wisdom, even when living in the ideal family situation. Hind sight is always 20/20 for the best of us.

    I am glad something positive came out of this for her and her child. As for the father, his whereabouts are non-consequential at this point. If he was a child himself OR a pedafile, it’s safe to say that either type of male is not the “stick around” kind.

    God may not make mistakes, but last time I checked, we do. She obviously made one, as I am sure 100% of those commenting here have at some juncture, as well as quite a few folks in the Bible– if you’ve read it [nay sayers].

  16. Bottom line here this lady has decided to work hard and make a bright future for herself AND her daughter. I can’t believe how “ugly and negative” some of these comments are. Are you folks so miserable that you can’t be happy for someone who obviously had a rough time but decided to work hard and do something with herself. Hell, we all have done things which may be considered wrong but the trick is getting back up and playing a productive roll in your future life. I am extremely happy for this young lady!!!!!

  17. Timekeeeper on said:

    I see a few on this post immediately saying “ where is the father” Or, he needs to be in Jail. Most likely, he was about her age as well and neither of them really knew the ramifications of their act. If not, I am certain he has, or would have been appropriately dealt with. I am just glad for this young girl who didn’t allow these circumstances to allow her to fall further into an abyss. While God may have had nothing to do with her having sex, as some have so cold heartedly stated, nonetheless he is a GOD of second chances as some would be wise to be mindful of.
    Rather than words of condemnation ( which are so easy to come by, I prefer to say “ There but by the grace of God go I, which fits more people than they care to admit. I pray that she is may become an example for other young girls, and boys as well that one mistake need not be the end of your success and life goals and dreams!

  18. Selene on said:

    Still retarded as fuck for getting knocked up in Middle school. Proves she’s a slut and I’d never make her a valedictorian

    • Sandra on said:

      The school doesn’t “make” someone a valedictorian. She had to earn it by getting better grades than anyone at her school. She earned her title despite her hardships whether some of it was brought on by her own actions or by her family’s unfortunate circumstances. She worked hard and got better grades than everyone in her class including those that had homes with no children. She earned it.

    • Church Girl on said:

      @Selene you sound ridiculous! Why resort to calling this girl names?? Are you serious? Furthermore, the title of Valedictorian is not just given, but it is earned based on grades. How about acknowledging the fact that the girl overcame teen pregnancy and homelessness? Wake up people!!!!!!!

      • on said:

        Not sure how she became the valedictorian when she can’t seem to formulate a proper sentence using appropriate structure. I will certainly give her credit for following through with school and staying focused and on track, however, college will be an entirely different experience and I hope she’s prepared for the academic pressures that come with it.

    • @Selene, I am sure you were a virgin all the way to the altar. NOT. You sound so stupid and uneducated. You should know that the school has no choice when it comes to selecting the valedictorian. If she met all of the grading qualifications, who the hell are you to deny her this?

    • Kathy on said:

      Selene, your education, or lack thereof, is showing. A slut she is not, because it could possibly could have been a case of unwanted OR forced sex as a [stated] homeless person. Smarter and more refined than you are based on your comments, well, that I tend to believe more.

  19. Bert on said:

    Happy she’s doing well, but please don’t bring “God don’t make mistakes”. I’m sure God had nothing to do kids having unprotected sex! That was your choice! Do well so taxpayers don’t have to foot the bill for your child.

    • Kathy on said:

      As the case when I was in high school, application fee waivers do exist. They are provided through your school counselor, at least in several school systems of which I am aware in my city and others. If you are income deprived, this usually qualifies one for that benefit.

    • specialt757 on said:

      Co-sign. Happy that she overcame the odds but sad that she even went through this in the first place. Decisions we make have consequences.

  20. Middle school and pregnant? Yes, very happy and excited for she will be very successful woman. Where’s the father?

  21. Diamondgrrl55 on said:

    It’s good to see something positive out of a not good situation. I hope all her dreams come true and she is able to provide for herself and her daughter. It’s good to see stories that are positive out! However I do not agree with her statement. Many ppl have kids and their story does not turn out like this. So I wouldn’t promote that. Ladies don’t let anything stop you from accomplishing your dreams! Not even the people who say you can’t or it won’t happen. You have to believe in you before anyone else will! Good day to all.

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