When MelissaRoshan Potter was a teenager she was unable to attend her senior prom. At the time she was pregnant with her son, Trey Potter, and homeless.
Now, years later, she was able to attend prom thanks to Trey.
“She never had that experience and she’s risked so much for me throughout my life and made so many sacrifices I thought it would be the right thing to do,” the 18-year-old told WCMH.
Potter had her son when she was only 17 years old.
Potter’s childhood was far from easy.
“My mother was raped when she was 13, and I am the product from that rape,” Potter told WCMH. “And as a result I lived in the foster care system and didn’t hear any positive reinforcements that I was valuable or worthy.”
She shared with ABC News that she lived in 23 different homes and endured a life of physical and sexual abuse, as well as child labor.
Potter worked extremely hard to raise her son.
YO! It was once suggested that (I) a woman who never had parents, grew up in foster care, and then became a homeless teen mom would probably raise a child that would be a statistic. It was suggested I would never rise. All I can say is: BUT GOD: stepped in and gave me an outpouring of love that I never had. Showed me how to mother him (and though not perfect) I've done well. Showed me how to go a different direction from what I'd been shown. Today:: Here's my Sun King and I. Standing after 18 years. Free from Suggestions. Free from Homelessness. Free from Statistics. Together, we rose. ❤️ #futureengineer #leaders #phdinknocks #teenmoms #motherslove #irise #family #homelessteenmoms #warriors
After giving birth to Trey she knew she wanted to prove all her naysayers wrong. She eventually found work as a model and makeup artist and also became an advocate for children in foster care.
One day when Trey was barely a teenager, he mentioned to his mother that he wanted to take her to his high school prom—when the time came.
“I really didn’t take him seriously,” Potter told HuffPost. “I was like, ‘Oh okay, buddy. Sure.'”
She wanted to make sure her son succeeded in life.
Words cannot begin to describe how happy I am today. It truly one of the happiest days of my life! Trey is the FIRST to graduate high school in four generations, the FIRST not be a teen parent, and the FIRST to attend college. I fought to see not just this day, but also for him to have the beautiful life he's had and by the grace/faithfulness of God it has been so. I was 17 years old when I had him, and had newly just transitioned out of Foster-care. There were several things that I knew: I'd been through trauma, I had no place to go, and had no money. But I also knew that I was going to stand strong, and that we both would surTHRIVE. I moved into a teen parenting home, dropped out of high school and got my GED so I could work, later attended some college, and vowed to raise him the exact opposite of what I'd been shown. He's grown up with me, and has been a trooper throughout our journey. I am so very thankful for the village of people that have supported us, and helped shape him into who he's now become – I couldn't have done it alone. We can change the direction of our lives if we CHOOSE to, and our pasts never have to define us. We can be champions no matter what! ❤️ #teenmoms #prommom #happystory #youngblackengineer #latinoengineer #dope #melrosvoice #powerfulstory #leaders #grind #push #driven #rockmom #positivity #turnup #motivation
But when Trey was a senior in high school he lived up to his promise and asked his mother to prom.
At first she was shocked, but then the feeling of excitement took over and she couldn’t wait to celebrate the night with her son.
Although Potter didn’t get to attend her own prom, she insisted that she didn’t miss out.
“I didn’t miss out on prom. I gained,” she told ABC News. “When I made the choice to have [Trey], I knew I was going to ‘miss’ a lot of things but when you choose love, it’s a gain and it’s all worth it. And I truly mean that.”
Trey brought his mother as his date to his senior prom.
As promised, here it is!!! My amazing son who I was pregnant with during my own prom time, invited me to be his date as I didn't get to go. I am so grateful for his selflessness! Dreams do come true! I really am at Prom!!!!! (Love you Trey!) Ps. Why I say, "Prrrrom!!" Smh! lol 😩❤️😘🌞☀️👫💃🏽 (SIDE NOTE:: I left about 30 minutes after arriving so that my son could enjoy his night. Additionally, we had no idea any coverage would happen- a teacher tweeted this to the news without us knowing. We have agreed as a unit to not respond to the hateful comments and to preserve this blessed experience. Thank you to the majority that have been kind) #teenmoms #selfless #prom #thankful #melrosvoice #memories #dreamscometrue #saturdaynight #happiestnight @teenmomtalks #asseenincolumbus #inspirationalposts #momhood #collegebound #blackengineer #testimony #hopedealer #vegasvolt #ardell #verawang #promgear #prom2016 #futureleaders #leader #lovemore #prommakeup #ardell #naturalcurls #teenpregnancy #photooftheday #prommom #mothersday @ouidad
Potter stayed for about 30 minutes of her son’s high school prom so he could enjoy the big night with his friends.
She shared with HuffPost that the two used the night as a way to celebrate both of their accomplishments and the rest of their life they have yet to live.
There is always light at the end of the tunnel and sometimes the tunnel may be longer for others but there’s always a light to keep you traveling and that was my light: being able to go to prom, being able to see him grow into this thriving individual and then even being able to triumph and overcome everything and be an advocate. That’s my light at the end of a very dark tunnel.