Knicely Done: Serena's success story
It was something new for Serena Moore, a chance to speak in front of a large crowd at a fundraiser for Partnership 4 Kids.
Serena is very familiar with the mentoring program with a long history that is available to under served students in 22 Omaha Public Schools. For that reason she was comfortable to share her personal experience.
She first joined up with P4K mentors when she was in elementary school and later when she attended Central High School.
"I was really involved therefore I was really determined that I was going to get a lot of scholarships to pay for college and living expenses," she explained in an interview WOWT 6 News.
But Serena's first semester at UNO did not go as planned. She tried to balance a full time job with her school work and the first round of grades could have easily derailed her goal of becoming the first in her family to graduate from college.
"I got a zero GPA and it came to reality of what are you going to do next," she said. "When you get all Fs and they fast come to see you knocking on the door saying because you didn't maintain a 2.0 and have a zero GPA you owe us all this money."
In spite of the discouraging situation, P4K mentors stood along side Serena and encouraged her "to start building her grades and they would handle the background."
Then as Serena was making progress in the classroom, she found out she was pregnant. She faced another difficult situation.
Again P4K stepped up telling Serena "It's another speed bump, how can we still be able to support you."
"When I had my daughter they were completely there," said Serena. "That was the first year I went from having a zero GPA to a 4.0 and making the Dean's list and Chancellor's list."
Since then, it has not been unusual for for UNO students and teachers to see Serena on campus with her daughter Layla toddling along side.
Serena just finished the final semester of her junior year with four A's and one B.
"It's really big for my family because going back, I'm the first female in my family to get a high school diploma," Serena said. "Therefore getting a college degree is something really big because it sets the standard not that females in my family, they dropped out of high school and when they found out they were pregnant school was not an option it was going to work. So I set the standard that you can be a mom, you can work, you can go to college and you can get it done while you're young."
For more information on P4K which serves 6100 students,