Rickay and Mickay Thompson have overcome some serious odds. In addition to growing up in an economically disadvantaged section of Washington D.C., and living in public housing, Rickay’s future could have been derailed when she found out she was pregnant her sophomore year in high school.
“I kind of did just want to fall back and take time for me and my child, but I knew he wouldn’t have the best if I chose that route,” Rickay explained to NBC Washington.
Rickay fought the urge to “fall back” and threw herself into her schoolwork instead. Earlier this month both she and her sister graduated from D.C.’s Woodson High School at the top of their class—Rickay as valedictorian and her twin sister Mickay right behind as salutatorian.
“I come from a low-budget area where I live on public housing,” Mickay said, “but I did not let that stop me and I did not let that make me feel like any less of myself.”
The twin sisters finished high school with GPAs over 4.0, and will continue their studies at George Mason University in the fall where they’ll study pre-law.
While many have demonized Black teen mothers, Rickay is thankful she’s been able to beat the odds.
“I’m really thankful for all the opportunities that I have had, all of the obstacles that came my way,” she said, “because now I know that I am strong enough, that I can fight through anything I just put my mind to.”