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Meet The Mom Who Pushed Through The Odds and Graduated From High School With 2-Year-Old

There is a reason MTV was able to capitalize on teen pregnancies in America. They happen frequently enough and usually, it means that the young mother has to drop out of high school to take care of her baby. However, not all mothers are willing to give up their education, especially when their goal is to make a better life for the life they have created.

This was the case for Odalis Contreras, a seventeen-year-old who had big life plans that didn't yet include having a child. Yet, when it happened anyway, she was determined to raise her child while still completing her education, both for her own good and his. Here's how she did it.

She Was Just 18 Years Old

Odalis holds her new born baby

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Odalis Contreras was only 18 when she found that she was pregnant. She was still just a sophomore in high school in Arizona.

At the time, Odali's worst fear was becoming just another statistic. She really valued her education and was afraid that she would have to drop out of school just like many of the teen moms who are not able able to complete their education. She was afraid that this would then affect her son's ability to access his own education down the line.

Teen Pregnancy Drop Out Rates Are High

Angel baby lays down on bed sheet and looks at the camera

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Teen pregnancy has been found to significantly take a toll on the rate of high school dropouts. In fact, a report by Child Trends found that teen mothers have a lower rate of obtaining high school diplomas than teens who didn't go through pregnancy so young.

Much to Odali's fears, the report showed that only 53% of women in their 20s who were teen moms received a traditional high school degree.

Odalis Needed Education To Support Her Kid

Odalis poses at the zoo and smiles

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In an interview with Good Morning America, Odalis highlighted how much she valued education by explaining: "education is the most important to me because it has a higher chance of taking me out of poverty than anything else."

It wasn't just herself that she worried about, she now had another little human whose entire future she was worried about. Speaking about her son Angel she said: "If I didn't finish high school or if I don't start college and finish it then I feel like he's going to follow down that path."

The Pregnancy Caused Her To Fall Behind

Odalis smiles at the beach by the sunset

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Odalis knew she would have to work twice or three times as hard as her classmates because not only did she have a baby to take care of every second that she wasn't studying, but the birth caused her to miss a whole month of school and fall behind.

In fact, Angel was born prematurely on Jan. 4, 2019. So to catch up, Odalis had to transfer to an online school that allowed her to be a full-time student on her own schedule while also taking care of her son.

She Tried To Juggle Parenthood And Education

odalis holds her son and smiles for picture

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The online school allowed Odalis to make her own schedule, but juggling it still wasn't easy. Angel wasn't sleeping all through the night and needed constant attention all through the day. She never had a second to rest.

"I didn't sleep for the first four months. It was hard," explains Odalis in an interview "it was mentally draining at points because I didn't know if it was going to be worth it at the end." There were times when she just wanted to give up.

She Used Her Son As Motivation

Odalis carrying her son by a staircase

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Even at her lowest moments, Odalis' vision was clear. She was able to see the big picture and she was determined to provide a good life for her family.

Odalis had the option to postpone her graduation time but she was adamant about graduating on time. She wanted to finish at the same time as all her classmates rather than delay the start of her, and her son's future.

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Her Own Mother Supported Her

Odali's mother holding Angel

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Thankfully, Odalis didn't have to go through this journey completely on her own. While trying to be the best mother that she could be, she was blessed to have a supportive mother of her own.

"My mom took 6 months off work to help me take care of Angel. It was hard for her but she loves him so much. She would do anything for him." Yet even with her mom's help, Odalis often felt like by putting school first that she was abandoning her son in a way...

Then She Beat All Odds

Odalis took it day by day, with the hope that the end would eventually come. Then in May of this year, it was finally time to walk across the stage, in her graduation gown. Except she didn't walk alone, she took Angel up with her

"He deserves it too," she explained. Many were emotional as they watched her walk down knowing what she had to go through to make it to this moment.

She Has Some Wise Advice For The Rest Of Us

Odalis kneels at the beach to give her son a kiss

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Odalis' journey doesn't stop here. She continues to dream big as she has proven to herself and her son that with the right mentality and hard work, anything is possible. Next, she will be attending community college and is weighing options for a career in real estate or as a newborn intensive care unit nurse, as Angel was once in the NICU himself.

"That's in my heart," she explains. "That's something I want to do with my heart." As for everyone else, after everything she went through for the past year she advises: "keep going. Whatever you're doing, you're doing to better yourself." If she can beat the odds, then so can you!

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The Strength Each Zodiac Finds When Grieving A Loss

Grief happens in different stages and there's not necessarily a right or wrong way to deal with it. Some people can't face it right away and keep themselves distracted while others spend the first couple of weeks crying in bed thinking that they'll never feel better.

Grief isn't only felt death. They say that a break up activates the same pain receptors and stress hormones experienced when a loved one dies, so grief is really about any kind of loss for someone or even something like a job that was valued. It can have lasting effects that become traumatic when coping is not eventually dealt with in a healthy way. Luckily, each zodiac sign has character traits that give them a unique strength when dealing with grief. What's yours?

For personalized information then you'll need your own zodiac reading here. Find out what your universe has to say about you right now so that you can take control of your emotions, your life, and your future by clicking HERE.

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Aries: Their Straighforwadness

woman laying in bed with her hands over her face in sadness

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Aries doesn't care to sugarcoat and avoid the hard truth. They prefer to act in the heat in the moment and cut right down to the chase. You know that when Aries go for a night out, they won't be shy away from their dancing their heart out. They take that same explosive energy wherever they go. When they're grieving, that's all they feel and they let themselves face it head-on until they can come to terms with it.

They may feel a lot of anger at first or a lot of sadness, and they may not deal with that component calmly but having the strength to be straightforward about their grief is what helps them let the feelings pass and move on.

Taurus: An Ability To Escape

woman holding yellow flower in her mouth looking sad

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A Taurus likely won't grief right away and try to keep their chin up. They might even try to console others first because the distraction helps them escape. When they're not helping others, they're going to want to disappear for a while, taking themselves on solo dates and watching movie marathons. They'll basically do anything to distract themselves and escape the pain.

However, their ability to escape is also their strength. It gives them a reason to keep going and eases them into adapting to a life without the person they lost gradually.

Gemini: Seeing The Good

Women holding up bouquet of yellow and red tulips

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Gemini will do their best to resist their grief. They would rather stay positive to cope. However, the more they avoid what's really on their mind, the more likely they are to be moody. However, when they chose to accept grief, they manage to always find a silver lining.

Their strength is in choosing to celebrate a person's life instead of mourning their death. To them, the end is not a loss because if they never had it in the first place they would have missed out on a lot.

Take a quick zodiac personalized reading here to find out what the universe has to say about you right now.

Cancer: Emotional Intuition

woman holding her knees in while sitting in a chair by the window

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​Cancers have the ability to be completely in tune with their emotions. They wear their hearts on their sleeves and it's no different when they're grieving. They are not afraid to let themselves cry it out from the second it happens even if they're not sure if they could ever stop.

Cancers' intense emotion is their strength. They're able to manifest them into whatever channel they desire which means that when they get through the painful part, they'll go through the healing with the same intensity.

Leo: Coping Internally

woman looking out window blinds

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Leo doesn't feel the need to have a pity party and crying circles. Odds are they won't show their pain publicly but that doesn't mean that they're not dealing with it.

Leo's strength is in coping in the way that feels best to them in the moment, privately. They're not looking to repeat what works for others, they want to find what works for them. They spend a lot of time analyzing exactly what is making them sad and lean deeply into their emotions.

Virgo: Order And Logic

Leaning against brick wall in though

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Virgo can't come easily in terms of loss and death because they can't completely make sense of it. Their need for logic and order and can make them feel completely out of control when grieving. However, it is that same need for control that makes their strength.

Once they get through the initial shock, they ground themselves by creating their how-to guide for coping. They make step by steps lists of how to heal and keep busy with to-do lists meant to help them grieve in orderly ways.

Take a quick zodiac personalized reading here to find out what the universe has to say about you right now.

Libra: Rationality

woman sitting on bleachers stairs

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When Libra deals with grief, it can become more rational than usual. Libra is able to accept loss and death as unavoidable parts of life so it sees no point in fighting it. Instead, it spends its energy on adapting to a new life without what it is that it lost.

While sometimes Libra takes extreme measures by completely erasing parts of their lives that held the memory of what they lost, their strength is becoming a self-containing equalizer of emotions. Eventually, they even out their grief too.

Scorpio: Manipulation Through Empathy

man and woman hug by blue sky

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​When we hear the word "manipulation" we tend to think of its negative connotation. But manipulation by definition is an ability to purposely mold. For Scorpios, manipulation isn't just getting what they want out of others. When grieving, they're able to manipulate their sadness with intention.

This comes in different forms. For instance, by spending time with animals, children, or loved ones, they're able to manipulate feelings of protection and love that heal both themselves and those around them.

Sagittarius: The Hunt For Happiness

woman blowing away petals off flower

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​Saggitarius is driven by a genuine desire to find happiness. When they're first grieving they may feel lost and helpless as they no longer see a path to happiness.

Yet eventually their ambition kicks in and fuels them with the desire to fight their pain. They don't avoid their emotions and instead try to find ways to turn the negative ones into positive ones and be as happy as possible until they can become fully happy again.

Take a quick zodiac personalized reading here to find out what the universe has to say about you right now.

Capricorn: Maturity

man reading in the park by water on a bencj

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Capricorn tries to be mature about the way they handle grief, and finds it unhelpful to spend days in bed or to get angry. As an earth sign they feel connected to a higher being and can see the bigger picture.

They understand that loss will hurt for a while but that with time they will get past it, so they do their best to go through the motions until then, each day becoming easier than the last, until they're fully themselves again.

Aquarius: Living Back Memories

hands going through old photo album

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Capricorns don't need external validation and motivation because they find it within themselves. They know the difference between what they can and can't control. They know they can't control a loss but they know that no one can take away the memories they created before they no longer could. So they chose to focus on what they can do.

They keep memories alive through pictures. They reconnect with people from their childhood or they pick up passions they left behind. This way, they connect back with themselves instead of caving to the loss.

Pisces: Just Keeps Swimming

man swimming stroke in ocean water

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Pisces just need to be reminded that no matter what happens and how bad it is, the world keeps going and so they need to be able to keep up with it. Usually, they can get to this stage before falling down a spiral. Instead, they chose to lose themselves in ways that feel beautiful to them.

They chose to keep swimming. They indulge in self-care methods like watching movies or spending quality time with others. Their strength is in jump-starting their healing process and their motivation to keep moving forward.

Understand your purpose and your potential so that you can take control of your emotions, your life, and your future by clicking HERE.