ELIZABETHTON, Tenn. (WJHL) – Overcoming adversity against tough odds, one woman is hoping to advocate for a small sliver of the population – mothers who become pregnant as teenagers.

“Did you know that less than 2% of teen moms obtain a bachelor’s degree by the age of 30? In May, at age 23, I will be a part of that 2%,” Tiffany Myers wrote in a Facebook post.

A 2012 study corroborates Myers’ claim that in fact, fewer than 2% of teen moms graduate from a university before the age of 30.

“Whenever I was in high school, and I wanted to go to college, a lot of people, my peers, high school teachers, counselors, family members, tried to talk me out of it. Telling me I was wasting my time so I was gonna end up dropping out anyway. And so I felt really alone,” Myers told News Channel 11.

She said she made the social media post in order to motivate others in her position.

“I was hoping that making that post would inspire other moms to know that there’s hope, and there are other people that had been their situation,” she said.

Myers said she chose the field of radiology so that she could go into healthcare and help others, but it was not without its challenges. Her teachers told News Channel 11 that Myers was a hardworking student regardless of her parental status.

“The radiology program here is hard to get into, and it’s a hard program while you’re in it. She has been one of the top students in our program. She is always on time, always here unless she cannot be. She always sits in the front row. She’s an amazing student. She’s kept her GPA up very high. She was a recipient of one of our summer scholarships,” Erica O’Quinn, Director of Clinical Education in the ETSU Radiology Science program said.

Erica O’Quinn, Director of Clinical Education in the ETSU Radiology Science program

Myers said the women educators in the radiology department were invaluable to her education and wellbeing.

“It makes me proud to be in this role,” O’Quinn said. “It makes me want to continue education. I’m very honored that she thinks so highly of us because I think highly of Tiffany; you know, I’m very proud of her and impressed by her actions in the program.”

To O’Quinn, Myers was not just a student, but a reason to keep teaching.

“I can kind of relate with Tiffany. I wasn’t a single mom, but when I started the radiology program I had an eight-month-old so I know how difficult it is to go through this program,” she said. “I think that’s one of our main jobs is to kind of relate to the students in order to help them.

Myers’ 4-year-old daughter, Avalynn, told News Channel 11 that she was proud of her mom for following her dreams.

“I hope I can be a good role model to her,” Myers said.

O’Quinn said when taking into consideration how difficult it is to complete the radiology program, to her, Myers’ accomplishments are that much more impressive.

“This is a very difficult program,” O’Quinn said. “You have to put at least 40 hours a week in clinic and school on top of that home studying. So I’m very impressed with Tiffany, how she could manage that all while putting her daughter first because I could tell she always put her daughter first. And with all that, she still maintained a high GPA. She’s very determined and motivating.”

What encouraged Myers to get a degree? Her daughter.

“It was all for her. She’s always my motivation. I knew that she deserved a good life. And I wasn’t gonna let anything get in our way of giving her everything she deserved,” she said.

But it was not all good all the time.

“I was never trying to like glorify teen pregnancy by always telling my story because this is still my story,” Myers said. “There are a lot of ugly sides to it too. There was a lot of times I was overwhelmed. A lot of tears I’ve cried. There’s been a lot of stress. It’s taken a lot of dedication, a lot of willpower, a lot of time, and there’s been a lot of mom guilt because there’s been a lot of times I had to pick school over spending time with her.”

Myers hopes to one day create a scholarship for teen parents to follow in her footsteps. To other moms pursuing their dreams, she said her advice would be to never give up.

“Definitely stay determined, there is light at the end of the tunnel. A lot of people will try to talk you out of going to school or tell you you can’t do it. But you definitely can. Determination is the biggest thing,” she said.

Myers said it means a great deal to show her daughter what you can accomplish despite obstacles. That includes not just getting that college degree, but in a challenging field such as radiology as well, especially since so few women work in science.