Columbus mother of seven beats odds, graduates high school at 45 years old

Published: Dec. 23, 2022 at 4:23 PM EST
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - One local woman is currently beating the odds and reaching an important goal.

Kystal Coleman, a 45-year-old mother of seven, has seen a life of struggle starting at a young age.

“My mom, she brought us, my siblings, to Atlanta. We lived there where we were taken from my mom, and we lived in state custody,” Coleman said.

While her mother’s addiction separated Coleman and her siblings, she continued her education in the foster care system until she hit an obstacle in high school.

“I had a child at a young age.”

Coleman had to work to take care of her daughter. Therefore, high school had to be placed on hold. Then life happened with marriage, more children and divorce.

Those elements, coupled with her lifestyle, eventually made her take a hard look at herself. She calls her rock bottom a moment in the wilderness.

“In case people don’t know what the wilderness is, it’s when you’re at the bottom and you have to swim your way out of it. And you find yourself back on top,” Coleman explained.

She decided to go back to school with her children being her inspiration. Colman says her youngest two son’s teacher mentored her along with way.

“As an educator, it really touched me that I had a parent with a senior in high school, and she was also in high school. I just began to encourage her because I felt like that was so awesome,” said Robin Robinson.

In December, Coleman became a high school graduate.

“I’m proud of myself because of the fact I did it. I conquered my goal,” said Coleman.” If you don’t have your high school diploma, I strongly suggest you get it. You have to decide if you want to run the street or get it together.”

Coleman not only received her diploma, but she also got a culinary arts certification. She says she sees a career in mortuary science or criminal justice.