A typical day for most high school students can be stressful. Before she graduated, a day in the life of Jamika Glades involved going to school, doing homework and attending track practices. She managed to get good grades and achieved great success on the track. On top of it all, she has a baby boy to take care of.
Glades had her baby boy, Anthony Jennings, when she was in ninth grade.
"I kind of kept it from everyone," she said.
By the time people did find out, she was already 29 weeks pregnant.
"It was an option to put him up for adoption, but I didn't want to," she said. "I decided to deal with my responsibilities."
Despite a hectic day-to-day life, Glades decided to continue running throughout high school. She no longer has free time during the day; instead, she has State Finals medals.
"I started off with a lot of sports but track stood out, so I decided to continue running," she said.
"When I started running in ninth grade I always had in my mind that I would try to get a scholarship because I know my family wasn't going to be able to pay. So I always stayed focus on track and never gave up."
Her focus paid off -- she received a full scholarship from the University of Miami and signed on with their team. She'll start running with them when the school year starts.
Having a baby throughout all this has been Glades' greatest challenge, but she has found support from the people around her. Her aunt has helped her take care of Anthony in the past, and he will stay with her when Glades leaves for college. Glades' coach encouraged her to push herself and continue running.
When she begins college, Glades will be studying either accounting or business because of her love for numbers. As much as she enjoys her studies, when asked what her favorite part of the day is, she answers without hesitation: track practice. She sees track as being a major part of her future as well. Aside from running for UM, she has other goals as well.
"I'm thinking about trying out for the Olympics," she said. "My last year of college is in the next four years, so I'm thinking about trying out for the team."
With her successes in 100 and 300-meter hurdles she just might be able to reach that goal. She knows attaining it will require determination, and she encourages other young people in tough situations to stay focused and refuse to give up.
"Through all the struggles I still made it," she said.
As far as Anthony is concerned, Glades sees him following in her footsteps.
"He already tries to hurdle and run," she said. "I think he'll be an athlete. I don't know which sport exactly but I know he'll be an athlete."
With Glades' great determination the future looks bright for her and Anthony, despite the difficulties faced in high school. Perhaps four years from now, she'll be jumping hurdles for Team USA with Anthony watching from the sidelines.