Dropout teenage mom becomes DC police chief

Filed under: Just For Moms, Work Life, Media, Day Care & Education

Upon confirmation by city council, Cathy L. Lanier will officially be named the police chief of Washington, DC. She becomes one of only a few women running large city police departments and the fact that she is a white woman leading the force in a largely black city makes her even more unique. But what makes her extraordinary is the fact that she started on this path to success as a high school dropout and teenage mother.

Pregnant at 14, married at 15 and divorced by 18, Lanier worked various jobs and relied on family members to help her support herself and her child. After earning her high school equivalency, she enrolled in the police academy. Coming from a family of police officers and firefighters, she saw joining the force as a great job that offered the tuition benefits she needed to go on to earn her two bachelor's and two master degrees. After sixteen years as an officer, she's now the boss.

She's not keen on talking about her personal life, but she does hope that other young women who have taken detours along the way to their dreams will be inspired by her story.

Except for the part where she becomes very successful, her life sounds a lot like mine. I admire her immensely and hope young women do look to her example.

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