Pathways to Success
June 14th,2017 marked an important date for the new graduates at Pathways. This is the day they received special recognition from Matrix and were awarded certificates for their completion of high school. What makes this day so important is not only the diploma, but the life-changing moment these young women faced while in high school.
Each of the graduates had children while in high school and were left with a difficult decision to make; continue their education or drop out to care for their children. Fortunately, they were referred to Pathways and enrolled to finish school.
This program was created to help teen moms complete their education. They also provide daycare services that can be utilized while the students are in class. “[Pathways] supported my child with free milk, diapers, and education” says Candice Smith, 18.
Pathways provides the children with all the necessary supplies free of charge. “They do supply everything and they help me save on my stuff at home” explained Tierria Moore, 18.
When asked why they chose to return to finish school, the graduates spoke about how important it is to have a high school diploma. Carnita McCarty, 19, dreams to become a veterinarian and can achieve that by completing high school. She wants to provide a decent living for her daughter and herself. She plans on spending two years at Henry Ford Community College and then transferring to Michigan State University’s veterinarian program.
All the graduates plan on attending college to further their education. Tierria Moore would like to become a nurse and Candice Smith plans on becoming an OBGYN. Pathways and Matrix helped make this possible for the students by being a support system for them and the children.
As the students ate their favorite pizza and cake, they spoke eagerly about prom. They talked about their dresses and how much fun they are going to have.
With their actual graduation taking place on June 20th, they are preparing to walk across the stage and receive their diploma. They are now going to begin a new chapter of their life with their kids next to them.
Pathways Academy is a public charter school working with Matrix Early Head Start classrooms located in the same building. Many of the teenage students are parents of young children and they have the option of applying for Early Head Start services. The teen parents receive support services in a variety of ways, including housing, employment, college and financial aid assistance, parenting classes, obtaining a driver’s license, and more.
Pathways Academy is located at 11322 E Jefferson Avenue, Detroit, MI 48214.