Heartwarming Story: Mother at 15 Now Earns Doctorate From UCLA

At the age of 15, Sonia Betancourt became pregnant with her first child. Although she had always dreamed of attending UCLA to become a lawyer, she decided to put her future on hold to raise her daughter Stephanie, and soon later, son Miguel. However, Sonia never let her dreams die. In early June, this long awaited dream became a reality when she walked across the UCLA stage with her doctorate in nursing. Her two children got to proudly watch their mom who gave them everything, even as a teenager, achieve this accomplishment.

Sonia and Stephanie spoke in an interview with NBC 4 about Sonia’s accomplishment.

“Of course, who plans a pregnancy at 15, right? I didn’t,” Sonia said. However, she further explained that she never had let the fear of becoming a “failure” or “just a statistic” hold her back. Instead, she took on the role of mothering her children, encouraging them to chase their dreams, and pursue college for themselves. Ironically, both Stephanie and Miguel graduated with their Bachelor’s from UCLA, before Sonia had ever taken a class there. 

Sonia’s daughter, Stephanie, wrote a touching tribute to her mom that was published on the UCLA nursing website. “As we know, life can throw us a curveball or two, and despite the straight A’s, my mom was pregnant at fifteen — putting her dreams to attend UCLA on hold,” she wrote. “Nonetheless, she instilled the same work ethic and drive into her children. She supported us in everything we did, nurturing us to become our best version.”

“For decades, everyone else came first,” Stephanie said. “Today, we honor a woman who reminds us that we can be selfless yet pursue our dreams too. It’s never too late to go after what you want — what you deserve. Congratulations, Sonia Betancourt. We are SO proud of you. Even more — we are SO grateful for you.”

It is stories like Sonia’s that serve as a testimony that pregnancy is not the end of all goals and plans. Although she did not plan to postpone her college career, what a blessing it was to have her two children watch her walk the stage! 

God’s plan is always perfect, and he works all things for our good. While the abortion industry tries to tell women that pregnancy is the end of a woman’s goals and dreams, it is really a beautiful beginning to a new journey.

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28

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