To read more alumnae success stories visit the Graduates of Distinction page.
Alumnae’s message for today’s Margaret Hudson students:
I went to Margaret Hudson Program in BA, back in 1984 and it was so comforting to be in a place that supported us girls! My oldest is 32 this year on left and he is in the United States Navy, next to him is my baby boy 27 years old who is in Optometry School and My daughter 22 who will be Graduating OSU this year, then my son on right 29 who made me a grandma last year!
I was so Blessed to attend this school during my pregnancy, even though at that time we weren’t allowed to stay until 12 grade and graduate,which unfortunately I did drop out and went to work! Thankfully my babies all graduated HS and are in college and making this mama so proud!
So for the girls that are worried about the future just don’t, worry that is!!! Pray, believe in yourself and stay in school! (my only regret) But most of all it gets hard some times but enjoy and love every moment with your babies and invest your time in them! Even though my life started out on a rocky road these children are my legacy I leave in this world and I’ve been truly BLESSED!
I spent my childhood in a small town of no more than 300 people. One day, my mom was offered a job in Northeast Oklahoma, and we relocated right before my 14th birthday. As an 8th grader at a new school, I went home every day and cried because I did not want to go back.
In 2013, I was brutally assaulted by two older girls, and it was not until over a year later that I had gotten my life back on track. I attended school in three different districts to try and find the right fit for me. Then, life did a turn, and I struggled with drug use. Eventually, my parents and sister found me at a local hotel. I did not even know who they were. I was checked in to Parkside seeking help. My family did everything they could for me, but after leaving the hospital I continued to run away and use drugs. In 2015, I spent my summer in the Tulsa Juvenile Detention Center.
I failed every drug test given to me by my probation officer until December when I took three home pregnancy tests that all came back positive. I knew from that day forward I had to change my life to give my child a chance. I was then told about the Margaret Hudson Program. I put in an application for the January enrollment. Later that week, Ms. Tillman contacted my mom for an interview. I was accepted and started on January 4, 2016. I was scared to go to a school with only girls, but it has turned out to be the best experience of my high school years.
I walked in as a sophomore, and with the help of all the staff I will be graduating this May. Being there has made me feel like somebody and not just a number like I encountered in all my other schools. The Margaret Hudson Program is not just a school to us. It is a safe haven and a home. We are all like family, and the vibe is always wonderful when you walk through the door. They give us resources on site and from extra outside sources. No school could compare. The best part is that we are all mothers.
I never knew you could love somebody more than yourself until I heard my baby’s heartbeat. The Margaret Hudson Program gave me hope. This program helped me on my new pathway that I continue to walk daily. Never let your past determine your future, but most of all never look back because you aren’t traveling that way.
Before Tonia came to the Margaret Hudson Program, her life was chaotic. Although many teens would claim their lives were not easy, Tonia could speak with conviction about real life challenges. Her mother was often homeless, leaving Tonia to make her own living arrangements with family or friends. Tonia struggled to stay in school and maintain good grades, but without stability, this was difficult. So many of the things that you and I may take for granted – food, shelter, encouragement – just weren’t available for Tonia. Then at 17, Tonia learned she was pregnant.
Tonia was referred to the Margaret Hudson Program by her high school counselor. When she enrolled at Margaret Hudson, she was in her first trimester of pregnancy and scared – scared about delivering a baby, scared about the kind of mother she would be, scared about their future; however, within 9 months Tonia’s life had turned around. Rather than fearful and insecure, Tonia was beginning to show self-confidence and a sense that her future could hold promise of something better.
The Life Patterns classes offered at the Margaret Hudson Program taught Tonia valuable lessons on prenatal health, parenting skills and academic goal setting. Tonia had multiple infections during her pregnancy that her assigned Margaret Hudson nurse helped detect and treat early. Tonia was bright and worked hard to maintain A’s and B’s. The encouragement of her teachers and her parenting education classes were especially helpful since her own mother had few parenting skills to pass on. While in school, Tonia worked part-time at a fast food restaurant to support herself and moved four times in nine months because her temporary living arrangements were always just that – “temporary.” In the midst of all this determination and self-discovery, Matthew was born. Soon Matthew became a Margaret Hudson student too – in the newborn child development center. Both mother and son graduated in May 2005.
People who saw Tonia then would not recognize her today. What the experience of an unplanned pregnancy within the supportive environment of the Margaret Hudson Program gave this scared child was a chance – a chance to be successful in creating a different life not only for herself, but also for her son. Not that being a teen mother is an easy life, but Tonia was determined not to make the same mistakes her mother did.
Tonia has stopped in to chat with her Margaret Hudson counselor and nurse. Matthew is happy and doing well. Tonia went on to work in a higher paying job along with attending classes in the allied health field – a career she explored as an MHP student. Tonia has settled into her own housing and is happy about the stability this brings into her and Matthew’s lives. Tonia will tell you that her success came from hard work and caring support. Her MHP teachers, counselor, nurse and the other MHP staff that supported her progress towards healthy self-sufficiency would have to agree.
I’m Kasey and I was a student at the Broken Arrow Margaret Hudson Program in 1991-1992. MHP helped our family in so many ways that I don’t even know where to begin. However, one that comes to mind as being extremely beneficial to me was being empowered with the skills, knowledge and confidence to know that I could successfully be a good teen mom. The fact that I was able to have my daughter bonding with her during my entire day was so valuable. Also, unfortunately when you become a pregnant teen, you don’t always have the support of your friends. Through MHP, I gained so many new friends who could relate with what I was going through.
My MHP Baby is now seventeen. I am very proud of the choices she is making in her life and hope she continues. For those teens who do find themselves pregnant though, I’m so thankful that MHP will be there for them. Because of the incredible support that our family had from MHP and our belief in the impact it has on teen moms and families, my mom, daughter, and I have made a commitment to stay involved in volunteer efforts for the Program.
“I was barely 16 years old, and I was 8 months pregnant. I was extremely ashamed of the situation I found myself in, and would not have attended school if Margaret Hudson had not been available. I did not feel like I was ready to be a parent and wanted so much more, for my child and myself . .After giving birth to a son, I finished high school and went to college and completed the Masters program …I now work with a program that recruits and supports foster families for abused and neglected children … Many times, I have looked back and said a prayer of thanks for the staff at Margaret Hudson. They will never know how important they were (and still are) to me.”
– Former MHP Graduate
My “Margaret Hudson Baby”
At the age of seventeen, I found out my life was going to change forever when the home pregnancy test I took showed positive. I took another test and then another, thinking these tests must be defective, but they weren’t. At that point I felt sick to my stomach, alone, lost, and horribly frightened. What will my boyfriend do when I tell him? How do I tell my parents and my friends? What will people say about me? Am I going to be a good mom? I was an honor student, so thoughts of not graduating high school and being able to go on to college festered in my mind. I felt so hopeless and I had so much fear of the unknown. I truly felt like I had nowhere to go.
After weeks of turmoil and emotional struggle, I found the courage to talk to my boyfriend, my parents, and my friends. The fall out from these discussions were not at all what I expected: I soon found out that I was going to be a single parent; I was devastated. Things seemed to be going from bad to worse. My mother told me of a program for pregnant and parenting teenage mothers who are trying to finish high school. Shortly thereafter, I transferred from Broken Arrow High School to the Margaret Hudson Program. Just simply walking through the doors, I felt so welcomed and supported by the staff, so safe and secure. I was surrounded by girls facing the same life altering changes that becoming a teenage mother brings and it was so comforting to have peer support, acceptance, and understanding. I was able to continue my education and also learned how to take care of my baby! Along that journey I made life-long friends, not only with students at the Program but staff as well; relationships so special that I simply cannot put their meanings into words.
On March 19th, 1989, my son Bryce was born. With my very first gaze into his big eyes, I knew I had made all the right decisions and that we were going to be just fine. I graduated high school on time and remember fondly hearing my son’s cries from the audience as I waited to receive my diploma. Years later, I have completed a Graduate degree and my baby now has graduated high school. A talented soccer player, he now plays soccer at a local university on scholarship. I ponder the course of my life often, and although being a teenage mom had its share of adversity and certainly made reaching my goals challenging, my ultimate reward is looking at my success and the success of my “Margaret Hudson Baby” – success that IS the Margaret Hudson Program.
Gina’s Success Story– May 4, 2011
I want to return to MHP this year (2011-2012) because I do well in the program. I have had good grades throughout the school year. The first semester I achieved more than a 3.0+ average and was on the honor roll; I was so proud of myself.
The teachers at MHP are pretty easy going and I am able to make-up my work if I miss school, complete it and turn the work in. I learn better at MHP with the smaller classes than I would at a regular high school with 25-30 students. It is hard to focus on the teacher and there is a lot of drama that happens in the classrooms. At MHP, I don’t have to worry about this.
Another reason for wanting to return to MHP is that I go to school full-time, work full-time and take care of my daughter Izabella. It is pretty hard at times, but I am afraid if I go to a regular school, it will be too much pressure and I would be overwhelmed and drop out.
I like the support we receive at MHP from the counselors and teachers. I really hope that I get to return back this year (2011-2012). I want to receive all the credits I need, finish school and continue on for my career.
Karen’s Success Story – May 4, 2011
I want to return to MHP this year (2011-2012) because it has helped me a lot. The program has encouraged me that even though I am a teen mom, I can still finish school and graduate faster.
I like how the teachers take their time and help me understand things I have not done before. They are nice about it and keep me on track. I have never really had teachers that took as much time with me. Since attending MHP my grades have improved. I have had less distractions preventing me from doing my work and being in class. The program has made me become more interested in school. MHP also allows me to have my baby with me and this makes my life much easier. MHP has a good staff watching the babies. My baby is very happy being in MHP daycare.
MHP is a fun place to be and learn.
My name is Jackeline. I am 18 and have a son who is one year and four months old. I became pregnant at 16. I realize now that I was too young to have a baby, but at the time, I was too naïve to realize what I was getting myself into. I was in love, but unfortunately, not every love story has a happy ending.
I had no idea how I was going to break the news to my parents, so one day I built up enough courage and simply told the news to my mom. She looked at me with disbelief and started shaking her head back and forth saying “no.” I reassured her this was no joke; I was pregnant and planned to keep my baby. My dad and brother heard the commotion and burst into my room. There was no need for explanations; it was obvious what was going on. I was given no other option but to abort. I was left speechless; each word was one of a billion bullets that hit my heart. Tears built up in my eyes and one after another they began to fall endlessly. I could no believe what I was hearing; I ran out of the room unable to bear any more of the lecture and cruel words. I called my boyfriend and explained to him what was happening. That night, he came to pick me up. It was such short notice that the only clothes I took were what I was wearing. It did not take me long to realize how hard life really was. We stayed in his car a few days before saving up enough money to go to Texas. He had an uncle in Dallas who offered him a job and a place for us to stay. This was the first time I had ever left my house. I didn’t know how to do anything! Washing, cleaning, cooking… it had always been done for me at home. This was a big reality check about what life really was like. I passed days without eating because of how hard it was. There was no air conditioning and no one to talk to. I had left my friends and family back in Oklahoma with a feeling of betrayal; my family stopped talking to me. Things never turned out to what I expected. He never got a job and each day that passed only brought more challenges that questioned our relationship; things were really stressful. Back in Tulsa, my family had issued runaway reports on my name. In a short time, they found me and I returned to Tulsa.
Coming back, I was given the option to either go home and take counseling or stay at a shelter. What I really wanted was to stay with my boyfriend, but since I was underage I lost the hope of staying with him. I remember crying uncontrollably and being three months pregnant. I chose to stay with my family and receive counseling and I thank the day I made that decision. My now ex-boyfriend has chosen to deal with this in a negative way. We slowly began to distance ourselves from each other. I went back to school starting at a program named the Margaret Hudson Program; a school for girls who are pregnant or already have babies. The teachers and counselors supported me and pushed me to better myself. I developed confidence, perseverance and most of all, a priceless education that will take me further in life. I graduated this year with scholarships that without the help of MHP staff, I would never had known about. I cannot express gratitude for how positively this program has impacted not only my life, but also my son’s. Now I am happily engaged to a remarkable man and we will be attending the same college beginning in August.
Life could not be any better!
Never give up!
I started to have sex at the age of 15 with a boy I thought I loved. Then at the age of 16, I found I was pregnant. Everything changes as I finally realized that I needed to grow-up and take responsibility for my actions.
I initially went to the Margaret Hudson Program to learn what the program was all about. I soon discovered that I loved the program; everyone was nice and supportive of what I wanted. The program has amazing food and the daycare was wonderful. I then decided that instead of going back to my home school where I would be teased by being pregnant, I would attend the Margaret Hudson program where nobody judges you. I have this amazing dream of what I want to be, but when it was confirmed that I was pregnant, I felt there was no way I would be able to fulfill my dreams. My dream was to finish cosmetology, get my license and then go to TCC and major in Accounting and then transfer to RSU.
After some careful thought, I wondered how I was supposed to go to school and have a baby all at the same time. All I can say to this is that it is not easy. I no longer go partying while my friends are at a club – I am taking care of my baby Matthew. I wake up, get myself ready and then get Matthew ready; my mom takes him to school. I go to school, then take him and do my homework while he sleeps. This is my daily routine.
I am so thankful for MHP because if it weren’t for the program, I would probably have dropped out of school and never received my high school diploma. I would not be looking forward to going to college in the fall and to RSU in two years. I also have my cosmetology license, so everything worked out for a reason.
I have one thing to say to the future teen moms – never give up!
When I think of the Margaret Hudson Program, I remember fondly how it helped rescue me as a young 17 year old parent. It just wasn’t an option to return to Edison. Attending school at Margaret Hudson allowed me to return to school and graduate…and I did.
This was in 1973-74. Now, I am an accomplished creative writer of pet cookbooks (TheSmilingPets.com) and a charity dedicated to helping single mothers, fathers and children in need (IndianPrincess.org).
I give so much thanks to this program which helped me make sure my children didn’t end up in my situation, but guided them on to complete college.
My story is one of many that Margaret Hudson gave a hand up to, and I am grateful it is thriving in Tulsa to meet the needs of our young women.
-Connie Fewell Reisenbigler
I just finished with my daughter, Bella’s, parent teacher conference, and I could not be more proud of my baby girl. She is in the 2nd grade, and she is at a 5th grade reading level and in the top 20% in the state of Oklahoma in mathematics. They are going to put her in advanced reading and math classes.
I want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart to the Margaret Hudson program. From my teachers I had to the early childhood teachers Bella had, you guys gave her a great start, and I will continue to help her grow. That school was heaven sent, and I could not be prouder to say that I was a teen mom and a proud Margaret Hudson alumna.
Beat the Odds
I attended Margaret Hudson in 1985, a scared pregnant 15 year old. However, having the comfort of knowing every student in the building was in the same situation made this transition easier. Margaret Hudson gave me a sense of hope for the future and the realization of my situation being temporary. I still had goals that needed to be accomplished and dreams that needed to be fulfilled.
The Margaret Hudson Program taught me how to take care of myself as well as my children. It also gave me the ability to maintain a good work ethic, be it in school or in the workplace. Statistics were proven true in my life, by my senior year I gave birth to a second child. I did not attend Margaret Hudson the second time, but public school. However, remembering the tools I learned was beneficial. Society, friends, teachers in public school, and family labeled me as a lost cause. Some of my peers were saying I would never amount to anything and that I would be on public assistance the rest of my life. Being stubborn and determined to prove to them and myself I was better than what my surroundings dictated, I went on to graduate with a higher GPA than some of my peers that did not have the responsibility of raising 2 children. I even maintained a part-time job through all of this. Graduating and walking with my class in 1988 was a blessing and an accomplishment.
In 1991, I was hired as a full-time employee with Classic Dental Inc. (dental laboratory), which brought stability and a steady income for my family, and 20 years later I am still employed there. I have also found ways to give back to the community. In 2005, I had the opportunity to be a director of a pregnancy crisis center and be the director of a children’s ministry. In 2007, I decided to achieve my goal to become a college graduate.
I received my associate’s degree with honors and a GPA of 3.9 (summa cum laude) in 2009. Immediately, I enrolled in the bachelors program and graduated in December 2011, with a GPA of 3.8 (magna cum laude).
Currently, I am managing a campaign to elect State Representative Kevin Matthews District 73 in Tulsa, OK which has been a wonderful experience and something I had never dreamed of doing. There have been enormous doors opening and endless opportunities to pursue. I continue to pursue my dreams! My dreams and endeavors include having a housing facility called T.H.E.M. (Teen Housing Empowers Moms) which will train, educate, and empower teenage mothers and their families through a 12-month program. The Margaret Hudson Program has always been a major part of my heart. This program kept me from dropping out of school and taught me how to beat the odds regardless of the many obstacles that were placed before me. I will always be thankful for the skills and education I received.
Tierra Ttbabee Owens-Mondaine
This is the place to be for a young mom. When I was 18 and pregnant Margaret Hudson made me the woman I am today. My daughter Kamari is 10 ten years old now. I graduated 2006 and I made it with senior Idis and all. Lol with success I raised a healthy baby girl ten years ago and she is doing very well and now I am raising my second baby girl, Paris Amari. She was born 5/5/16. Kamari is an amazing big sister.”
Melissa, Class of 2002
I graduated from Margaret Hudson in 2002. Although I only attended for one semester, I would not have graduated if it weren’t for such a wonderful school.
I went on to graduate with my Accounting Associate’s Degree from TCC and received my Bachelor’s Degree in Financial Management from NSU. I am actively involved with volunteering for the United Way and Junior Achievement. I have made it my life long goal to give back to those in need, and I feel that is partly because when I was in need the Margaret Hudson Program staff were there to help me and my newborn child.
LaShon , Class of 2003 MHP Broken Arrow
The Margaret Hudson Program was vital to my success and future. At 17, I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl who was special needs and required all of me all of the time. MHP provided me with the tools I needed to be a full time student and mother. The staff went above and beyond to accommodate all of our needs! I’m forever grateful to each of you! Thank you for enriching my life! I also want to thank you all for your support at her home going services. I’m forever grateful for your love! #ripNyahJackson.
Amy’s story – class of 1992
I went to school at Margaret Hudson during the 1991-1992 school year. It was my second senior year and I began the year at my home school – Will Rogers High School. I quickly learned, with a ton of morning sickness, that this was not working out. I didn’t want to quit school yet again so I went on a search of what my options were. I found that my options were extremely limited being pregnant. I could continue to struggle through “regular” school or go to Margaret Hudson.
I had heard lots of stories about “those girls” and “that school” and didn’t want any part of it and definitely didn’t want to become labeled like “those girls” had become, but I had no other choice if I wanted to graduate.
I can remember walking in and being frightened. I made it into the office and get all the paperwork portion squared away next is the nurse’s visit. All goes well there. Next is the part that I’m dreading; the classroom. I’m walked around the building being shown the day care rooms, one for newborns, one for crawlers, one for walkers & one for the big kids.
As the days, weeks and months go on and I get to know the school, staff and especially the other students I find out that the rumors are far from true. The students at Margaret Hudson are like one big family. We help each other through our tough times, and celebrate with each other through our good times.
I remember when I finally walked the stage at my “home school” graduation. I didn’t really know anyone and felt all alone. I really wished that my “REAL SCHOOL,” Margaret Hudson, would have had a graduation where I could have walked that stage, where I could have sat, stood, and walked next to all my real friends and real classmates for the 1992 graduation school year!
NOTE: The Margaret Hudson Program now has a graduation ceremony for each of their schools for the girls and their families to celebrate together.
“I became pregnant with my daughter at age 16. My husband and I decided to marry and have been married for almost 19 years and have four children.
I was a stay-at-home mom for almost 17 years. I started working in the past two years as the Administrative Specialist at Tulsa Community Foundation.” -Ricci