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  • My name is Melissa Perez.

  • I was born and raised in the Bronx, New York City,

  • but my parents are Mexican.

  • Two years ago, graduating high school

  • was not even in my plans.

  • I was doing horribly in school.

  • Going to a school that has metal detectors is stressful.

  • You have to stand in line 25 minutes to an hour.

  • I would only go in third period

  • and come out fourth.

  • I went third period

  • because I knew they didn't take attendance first and second.

  • So, basically, if you were going third period,

  • they would mark you present for the whole day.

  • I just wasn't interested in school.

  • Then, when I was 17,

  • I gave birth to my daughter, Madeline.

  • Getting pregnant changed my approach tremendously.

  • I thought, "I'm pregnant, I don't have a diploma.

  • So what I am I going to be working the rest of my life?

  • $7.25 an hour?

  • No! I have to graduate and go to college."

  • Being a mom, still going to high school is, ummm,

  • overwhelming, I would say, at the beginning,

  • but I had this math teacher who encouraged me

  • to go on with school.

  • She always said that she saw something in me.

  • She was like, "I know there's something inside you there

  • that wants to fight for it."

  • She always pushes me,

  • she always gives me the hard questions

  • because she knows that my favorite subject is math.

  • She's always like, "Melissa, figure this out.

  • Melissa, figure that out."

  • And I'm like, "Okay, okay."

  • I like that about her

  • because she always tends to push me.

  • Thelma is the first teacher

  • that has treated me,

  • you know,

  • I guess, special.

  • After I had my baby, I got my head into the game

  • and I passed my classes.

  • Being a mom at a young age

  • either makes you or breaks you,

  • but, in my case, it made me.

  • It made me have a total different visual for my future.

  • I am the first person in my family

  • to graduate from high school.

My name is Melissa Perez.

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A2 TED-Ed melissa perez high school period pregnant

【TED-Ed】Meet Melissa Perez

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    Halu Hsieh posted on 2013/10/09
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