They told her she wouldn’t make it, but she did!
Indya Thomas was just 17-years-old when she found out she was pregnant with her son Kamau Gomes, Blavity reports. Thomas said it was a difficult time in her life and her family didn’t agree with her decision to keep the child. They thought she wasn’t ready to become a mother at such a young age and she ended up homeless, something she said gave her the motivation to thrive in spite of the circumstances.
Thomas was able to find a good job, one that afforded her the opportunity for tuition reimbursement. When she got a chance, she took full advantage, taking up classes at Georgia State University (GSU) where she majored in marketing and minored in hospitality.
“They only cover certain schools in the university system. So, it was either Georgia State or UGA (University of Georgia). 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…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,” said Thomas speaking of her son.
Turns out, she already is because while she was taking classes at GSU, Kamau dual enrolled at the school. Recently, both mom and son graduated from Georgia State together on the same weekend, Thomas with her bachelor’s degree and Kamau with an associate degree from his dual enrollment at Georgia State through DeKalb County Early College Academy.
“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,” said Thomas.
The moment was special to say the least. Kamau also received a Gates scholarship worth $1,000 toward tuition. He said he was “grateful” and while the two had no classes together, it was their love for each other that carried them both to this moment.
“This was so spontaneous. This really was a coincidence, but I am appreciative of it,” said Kamau.
“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 added.
This is only the beginning!
Cover photo: Former teen mom & her son graduate from Georgia State together/Photo Courtesy of Indya Thomas/Atlanta News First