Student, Mom, Employee, Superhero, Nataleigh Ritchey

Nataleigh stands by the pillar.

Just two weeks before graduating from Collinsville High School in Collinsville, Texas, Nataleigh Ritchey received shocking news.

She was pregnant.

Many high school graduates look forward to college and career aspirations. Facing her future, she realized it would look a little different for her now. Nevertheless, Nataleigh was determined to accomplish her degree.

With great support from family and friends, Nataleigh enrolled at Grayson County Community College in Denison, Texas and committed to herself and her young son that she would become a college graduate.

Nataleigh then transferred to TWU to study business management. She is understandably excited to graduate in May, just four years after becoming a mother.

Her choice between the primary Denton institutions was an easy one. Nataleigh knew that she would prefer the smaller atmosphere, which she believes has allowed her to enjoy stronger relationships. TWU has also been very supportive and encouraging as she has worked to complete her degree on time.

Not only that,“The professors at TWU are excellent," Nataleigh also said, "They encourage learning through real-life situations, and not just by textbook. And they encourage out-of-the-box thinking.” Even through online classes, the emphasis is placed on the realistic application of their learning topics.

Ultimately, Nataleigh represents a contingent of women who could make Superman’s powers look weak. While raising a child, Nataleigh not only attended college fulltime, but she has also worked nearly fulltime.

Nataleigh enjoys her current work as a Travel Concierge for a company that creates charity auction packages. She has some great recommendations for international travel excursions! Her dream job is to one day own an event venue and help people to plan special occasions.

Whatever the future holds for Nataleigh and her son, they will take their next step forward boldly because, together, they have a degree from Texas Woman’s University.

Story by Adam Hengeveld; Photo by Chelsea Mullin

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Staff Reporter

Page last updated 2:18 PM, October 1, 2021