Margaret Eby
July 01, 2014 5:05 pm

The Internet can be a bleak place, full of angry commenters and bad news. But it’s stories like this one that make it worth all that online haterade. If you haven’t heard, an anonymous teen mother’s story is inspiring people every which way. One of the latest personal stories shared on Humans of New York, a photography project by Brandon Stanton documenting everyday city residents, is a young mother who overcame some serious hardship to succeed in business.

“I had a child when I was sixteen,” the interview begins. “I got kicked out of high school because of all the absences. My family and community pretty much wrote me off.”

But this woman didn’t give up. Instead she got a job at a sporting goods store, which led to another job at a tax company, where she learned how to do taxes on the job. She soon rose to associate.

“Then I got offered a job at a smaller company, and even though it was a pay cut, they offered me responsibility over all the books— accounts payable, accounts receivable, everything. It was less money but I wanted that experience so I took the risk. And I’m so glad I did, because six months later, the controller of that company left and I was given that position. . . So after having a child at sixteen, I made it all the way to controller of a company, without even having a college degree. Can you believe that?” she said.

Her meteoric rise didn’t end there. She continued on her career path while earning her college degree and raising a child at the same time. Five months ago she graduated college.

“Honestly, I’ve been waiting to tell that story so long that I told it to a customer service representative on the phone last week,” she continued.

Within 24 hours of her story being posted to the HONY website, it received got a million likes on Facebook, with people cheering on the teen mother-turned-boss. “Don’t just tell your story, sing it loudly!” wrote one commenter. Other commenters shared their own stories of uncompromising achievement.

“I too had a child at 16 and dropped out of high school,” wrote one woman. “Now I’m an attorney! It can be done with hard work and dedication.”

What is it about this story that inspired such a tidal wave of support? Well, one, we rarely hear about success stories from teen mothers. They’re usually statistics or MTV-lebrities. And two, there is something genuinely inspiring and heart-warming about a woman who, against all odds, made her way up the corporate ladder. It’s truly worth celebrating.

Whoever you are, wherever you are, lady, you rule.

(Featured image via Humans of New York)

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