At 16, Karen's plans took a sudden turn when she became pregnant with her oldest daughter. She managed to stay in school and earn her diploma, but her hopes for a medical career were put on hold. "I was supposed to be the first one to go to college. I felt like I let everyone down," Karen says. "I was devastated, and it devastated my family as well."
By age 29, Karen had five children and a husband who didn't support her college dreams. "He didn't think that we had the time or the money," Karen says. "I finally realized that he was never going to say it was the time. I enrolled without telling him."
Karen eventually left her husband and decided to pursue a nursing career. "I realized there was no way I was going to get into medical school with five kids," she says.