MIAMI (CBSMiami) – On a recent day, a conversation you wouldn’t expect to hear in a baby nursery.
“You got the scholarship,” asks Andrea Moseley.
“Yes, I got the scholarship,” replied Moseley’s mentor Fanie Jocelyn. “I had like three scholarships when I graduated plus some grants.”
It was a special first meeting as Mosely introduced her new baby to Jocelyn. Both of the women have a lot in common. They are ambitious, love criminal justice and they are both young mothers.
“While in Haiti during the process of coming to America I was taken advantage of and it wasn’t until three months later that I learned I was pregnant,” said Jocelyn. “I had just started high school at 14 and when I found out I had to leave my high school and come to Seagull where they actually saved me and my child.”
Jocelyn is a graduate of Seagull Alternative High School. She also has a Bachelor’s degree from Florida Atlantic University and she’s the mother of now a 10-year old boy. She admits it wasn’t easy being a young mother but is grateful for the support she got from her teachers and counselors at Seagull High.
“Apart from all the support I had here, what kept me going was the negative. I had a lot of family members say, ‘she’s not going to make it. She’s not going to make it’. It was like ‘how is she going to make it, she’s 14, she has a kid and it’s not possible’. That kept me going believe it or not. Not to prove them wrong but to prove myself right. I had to keep going I didn’t have a choice,” said Jocelyn.
While teen mothers and fathers attend high school classes, Seagull provides free daycare to their children from nursery to pre-school
Moseley, now a senior, transferred when she learned she was pregnant. She remembers feeling ashamed of her circumstances during most of her pregnancy.
“Like wow, you just made a mistake, like your life is going to end, like there is no future for you after this, like you just had a child. I felt all this shame and that was really holding heavy on me,” she explains.
But Jocelyn is helping her change her mindset with talk of the future and how she can go to college. In a short time, Mosely has a new outlook on her future.
“She gave me that extra boost that I needed. I can do this after high school, there should be no reason why I shouldn’t. She’s also a mother, it’s easier to listen to a mother than to someone who doesn’t know what you are going through,” said Moseley.
“I don’t feel that extra responsibility of having a child is going to stop me from continuing my education. I’m fully confident that I’m going to graduate in February rather than in May,” she added.
And she has the full support of a mentor that is determined to see her make her dreams come true.
“It’s important to know what you want in life because people will tell you what you will become and if you don’t know what you want to do, you will fall for the trap,” said Jocelyn.
Seagull Alternative High School, located in Fort Lauderdale, is part of the Broward County Public Schools system.