Being raised by a single mother in a family of dysfunction and chaos, becoming pregnant at age 13 and dropping out of high school by age 14, having two more children by two different men and being the sole provider for three children, Marie had a lot to overcome. Motivated by her mother, a high school dropout as well who recently achieved her G.E.D, Marie decided to continue her education because her mother told her she had “no excuse” not to go back to school.
When Marie got her G.E.D, she entered college and received straight A grades during her first semester. But while continuing her education, she was diagnosed with narcolepsy, had to drop out of school twice to work full-time and pay her bills, and fell into depression all while taking care of three young children.
Seeing her oldest son graduate from the 8th grade was particularly moving for Marie because when she was his age, she was about to give birth to him. Instead of him worrying about being a parent, he can still be a boy with dreams and aspirations.
With the help of a $1000 grant, Marie went back to school full-time. She has maintained a 3.4 grade point average and is self-sufficient. As a poet and spoken-word artist, she is making one of her poems into a book for children and another into a motivational journal for teenage girls.