Graduation is just days away and for many East Texas teens it is a time to reflect on their journey through high school. That journey is sometimes full of obstacles.
For Truevenio Waters there weren't many options. At age 17, she became pregnant and found herself looking for a home.
During that time, there were many days filled with despair and thoughts of harming herself and her unborn baby.
"I wanted to kill it," she says. "I wanted to take pills. One minute I thought about hanging myself and just a bunch of things that were coming in my mind that the devil was telling me to do."
Instead of taking desperate action, she came to Eagle Academy's Living Alternatives, a home for teen mothers that helped her continue her education.
Truevnenio says that would not have been possible at a public school.
"If I was in a regular school I knew that I would have difficulties, with people looking at me a different way."
Truevenio graduated, and for her, nothing can compare to knowing she has a foundation for her future and the future of her child.
"I feel relieved. I feel joy because I know that I have that diploma in my hand, and I know that I want to step up to take care of my child. I was just like really happy that I was able to graduate."
Truevenio's daughter will be born in June and next year she plans to attend college to become a registered nurse, something she says wouldn't be possible without the help of Living Alternatives.
"I kept going and I kept my head up. By talking to the teachers, they were like Truevie you can do this I know you can do this. You're going to finish before you have your baby. They actually gave me hope that I was going to finish before I had my baby and that I still can be the R.N. that I wanted to be."
Story by Maya Golden, firstname.lastname@example.org