Graduating from high school is a significant milestone — one that can make all the difference in future education, employment, and income opportunities — but for Cynthia, graduation was more than just a stepping stone. It was a monument to her persistence, determination, and commitment to herself and her daughter, Nyani.
Cynthia was only 13 when she became pregnant. Any teen pregnancy makes finishing high school more challenging, but Cynthia had to demonstrate a special resolve to begin high school with a newborn at home. Cynthia enrolled in CHiP just weeks before Nyani was born. Her CHiP workers helped set up homebound education so that Cynthia could start high school on time.
As she began to learn how to raise a child, she was still growing up herself — and there were plenty of bumps along the way. Her situation was hard. Keeping up with class work was hard. Managing her emotions was hard. Childcare, transportation, and family responsibilities within her large family were real barriers that she had to navigate every day to go to school.
“I was struck, when I reviewed Cynthia’s chart, by how involved and committed she is,” said her CHiP nurse, Elizabeth. “Cynthia always participates in Torri’s lunch groups and after school socials, attends Young Lives gatherings and PB&J groups, and has a strong connection to her church. She is also really committed to providing great opportunities for Nyani and signed her up for karate class.”
Cynthia has completed her CNA training at CATEC, and she graduated from Charlottesville High School on June 2, 2016. She is planning to pursue a nursing degree at PVCC. Cynthia is inspired by her own mother who works hard as a CNA at UVA and is taking classes to prepare for nursing school herself. And we are all inspired by Cynthia!