29-year-old single mom Chelsea Haley is celebrating a major milestone this upcoming Mother’s Day—she just cleared $48,000 worth of debt and is now officially debt-free.
The teacher was a recent college graduate and was only 22 years old at the time when she met her fourth grade student Jerome. Jerome was failing academically and often got into trouble, prompting him to be suspended from school.
Despite exhausting all of her classroom resources to help the young boy, Haley knew that Jerome had potential and she saw a kid that was, “really witty, very smart and just kind.”
She started supporting him by any means possible—attending his sports games, buying school supplies, and even supplying groceries to Jerome’s family.
Soon, Haley had an unusual dream—one that told her that she was destined to become Jerome’s parent. In October 2015, the 12-year-old Jerome asked his teacher if he could live with her.
Two months later, after gaining their birth mother’s blessing, Haley became the official legal guardian for not only Jerome, but his little brother, Jace, as well. Haley had drained her savings fund to pay attorney fees and she accumulated debt as she was raising her boys.
The new mom worked feverishly to provide for her family, working two part-time jobs in addition to maintaining her full-time teaching position.
Another sacrifice included selling Haley’s home and moving back in with her parents, because every cent mattered.
Five years later, the family is excelling. Jerome is now 17 and is an honor student, and Jace is now 6. The mom was so insistent on clearing her debt because, “It allows [her] to focus on the boys’ future, saving money for them, and not spending it on [her] past.“
“Being their mom is the greatest blessing of my life. I get to wake up in the morning and love two little guys…”Chelsea Haley