A 19-year-old Lavender Hill resident did not allow a pregnancy, raising a baby and the death of her father stop her from finishing school.
She was among the thousands of matriculants across the country who found out this month that they had earned a National Senior Certificate.
However, if she had a choice, Berosca Petersen said she would have tried to prevent falling pregnant and she advises other youngsters to “take precautions and use birth control because not everyone will be supportive and caring”.
Luckily for her she had her mother Sharon, sister Chandré Smith and best friends in her corner.
The former Steenberg High School pupil said when she was in Grade 11 in 2018 her mother Sharon had noticed that she did not get her period.
“I only buy the girls sanitary towels when they get their periods every month,” said Ms Petersen.
Ms Petersen said Berosca didn’t ask for sanitary towels and after two months she knew something was up.
Ms Petersen was worried about her daughter as the death of her husband, Kevin Ethan Petersen, had affected Berosca a lot.
“She was in Grade 10, and she failed that year.”
When she addressed Berosca about the pregnancy she asked her what she wanted to do. “I asked her if she wanted to continue with school.” And Berosca said yes.
Ms Petersen went to school and to find out if Berosca would be allowed to complete school. “They said yes, it was okay.”
Berosca’s heavy school bag and a big stomach did not deter her from going to school. “I was at first hesitant to continue with school, because everyone was looking at me when I walked past them, but I didn’t care. Why must I drop out of school?”
Berosca said she didn’t expect to pass because she had “very little work in her books” and was regularly absent from school.
However, her good friends supported her by visiting her often and bringing her notes.
The night Ethan was born, on April 28, Berosca was in labour from 11pm until 6.30am.
While in hospital, Berosca was on the phone with her sister.
Chandre said: “I had to chat to her on the phone the whole night while she was in labour. And not long after she put down the phone, she called again to say the baby was born.”
When Ethan was born, Berosca’s studies suffered because she had to take time out to take “him to the clinic and if I had to study my mom would look after him. But there were times when he was moody and didn’t want to go to anyone”.
However,againstallodds, Berosca passed matric. Chandré said: “ I went with her to get her results and I am very proud of her, for continuing her studies because she is the first one in our family to finish matric.”
Berosca said, Teryll, Ethan’s dad, is supporting her financially. “He is working and helping me.”
Berosca said she won’t be sitting still and she is determined to apply for a bursary this year to study teaching next year.