National Teacher of the Year: I was a teenage mom, and teachers changed my life

📸: Hartford Courant📸: Hartford Courant

Jahana Hayes always knew she wanted to be a teacher, but she didn’t always believe she could be one.

She grew up surrounded by poverty, drugs and violence in the fading industrial city of Waterbury, Conn. But she loved school, and her teachers told her she could someday go to college. Even when she became pregnant at 17, her teachers refused to give up on her. They showed her how she could continue her education.

She graduated from high school and seven years later enrolled in a community college. She went on to earn a four-year degree, and then she realized her dream: She became a high school history teacher in the same town where she grew up.

Read the full story via The Washington Post.