Mom and Her Son Graduate Together from Georgia State University

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Meet Indya Thomas, a former teen mother, and Kamau, her son who just graduated from Georgia State University at the age of 17. For years, Indya was told she would never be successful.

She claimed that when she found out she was pregnant at such a young age, she experienced a difficult time in her life. She was just 17 years old. She was forced to live in a homeless shelter because her family would not accept her decision to keep the child.

“I had Kamau when I was 17 years old. We did not have a lot of people that supported me having him so young. I was told that I would never graduate from high school, let alone college. I was told I was going to ruin his life. So, it really gives me a lot of strength that we are here together,” Thomas told Blavity.

Thomas encouraged her to achieve by using her challenging circumstances as inspiration, rather than giving up hope. She was successful in landing a respectable position with tuition reimbursement. She took advantage of the chance and enrolled at Georgia State University, where she pursued a marketing degree and a hospitality minor.

“They only cover certain schools in the university system. So, it was either Georgia State or UGA. I had to make a choice, and I wanted to do in-person classes, so Georgia State was a natural choice for me. It’s just fate,” Thomas said. “My path is going to be more service marketing. I know one thing is for certain I want to be a good role model for him.”

It’s true that Thomas was successful in motivating her son, who chose to enroll in the university while she was a student there. Despite the fact that they did not attend any classes together, their friendship and support helped them reach an important life milestone.

The mother-son team most recently earned their degrees from GSU on the same weekend, Thomas with a bachelor’s and Gomes with an associate after enrolling in DeKalb County Early College Academy’s dual enrollment program at Georgia State.

“I don’t think there are words to capture the amount of pride and just humility and love I have for this experience. Honestly, if there was a lifetime of living this one moment, that would be enough,” Thomas said.

Moreover, Gomes, who plans to pursue a bachelor’s degree in psychology and exercise in sports science at GSU, is also thankful for receiving a Gates scholarship worth $1,000 toward his tuition.

“This was so spontaneous,” Gomes said. “This really was a coincidence, but I am appreciative of it. I am grateful for it.”

17 Black Teen Moms From Georgia Make History, Graduate High School Together

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