Not Becoming A Statistic

Trameka Pope has a lot to be proud of.  The 19-year-old was homeless as a child and had a daughter right before she entered ninth grade, but next week she’ll graduate as valedictorian of Chicago’s Wendell Phillips Academy High School.  The teen mom is a cheerleader and member of the National Honor Society, and in the fall she’ll attend Western Illinois University.  Eventually, she plans to get a Ph.D. in social work.
“I didn’t give up,” said Pope. “I pushed myself hard, and my baby motivated me every day, because I wanted to provide for her. I didn’t want to become a statistic.”