Congrats to teen mom for graduating

Published 10:34 am Saturday, June 19, 2010

Hats off to Franklin High School graduate Paula Buck, who received her diploma on Friday night during a ceremony at Paul D. Camp Community College.

Nearly two years ago, just prior to her junior year, Buck gave birth to a daughter, Makiyah Alyson. From the time she became pregnant, the odds of her finishing school were stacked against her.

According to the website Family First Aid, only one-third of teen mothers get their high school diploma and only 1.5 percent have a college degree by age 30. Nearly 80 percent of teen mothers are more likely to end up on welfare.

In addition, the children of teenage mothers have lower birth weights, are more likely to perform poorly in school and are at greater risk of abuse and neglect, according to the website.

In an interview with The Tidewater News, Buck indicated that dropping out of school wasn’t an option. She also credited her parents — Milton and Rosette Buck — and her teachers, especially Linda Soucek, for keeping her on track.

Paula graduated with a 3.48 grade-point average and was ranked ninth in her class of 94. She was also a varsity cheerleader, serving as captain of the football and basketball squads.

She admitted finishing school with a child was hard. Yet she did it thanks to a great support team.