Tara Peters


16 Year Old Teen Mom to PhD at 36

Ep. 26 - Meet Dr. Tara Peters, a trailblazing educator (devos.northwood.edu/our-faculty) who went from being a 16-year old teen mom to PhD at 36 - a great achievement! In this TrailBlazers Impact interview, she describes the challenges and difficulties in being pregnant in high school and becoming a teen mom; but determined not to allow her circumstances to derail her potential.  With the support of her family she shares her journey in the hopes it will convince others to do the same. Tara is a role model for teens facing the same issues today. She credits her multiple academic achievements including her doctorate degree, with her greatest accomplishment being that of a role model for a son that embraced education and completing his academic journey with a law degree. She has embraced her passion for travel with 30 countries in her score book and talks about her first solo experience in traveling abroad to tour Switzerland.

Top Takeaways:

    • How to persevere through life's hardships to achieve bigger goals
    • Learning to make sacrifices to handle all responsibilities in your life
    • How Dr. Peters attains enjoyment doing things in her late 40s that she sacrificed in her 20s
    • Finding joy in making a difference in other people's lives
    • The importance of taking a risk to do something that scares you but might change your life forever

"Keep your eyes on the prize, keep your eyes on the objective, the path may look different but, in the end, those things that you wanted to accomplish will be attained."

Key Moments:

    • She shares how her parents instilled the importance of education in her at a young age [1:19]
    • Turning disappointment into a success story: how becoming a teenage mom made her more determined to persevere [2:12]
    • How she sacrificed her social life as a teenager to care for her son and study and is now able to compensate in her forties [5:26]
    • Having a passion for family love and traveling [8:02]
    • Tara talks about how making a difference in the life of a broken student is her greatest achievement [9:40]
    • Taking a risk that could easily go wrong but choosing it anyway and how she traveled for the first time alone [11:50]
    • She talks about her pride as a mother after her son's achievements [14:08]
    • She describes the challenges of being a teen mother as her most difficult time [15:22]
    • She shares the role of an educator in preventing teen suicide [17:52]
    • Her hopes of love and inclusion without discrimination for African American children [20:15]
    • The life lessons she wishes to pass on to young people today [22:28]


Her professional career in education has provided her a vantage point to shape the future by influencing her students who will become the business leaders of tomorrow. She discusses teen suicide and social pressures for kids today and the role of educators in helping them navigate the current landscape. She talks about her fears as an African American in today's climate and her motivations for teaching in several international programs to empower of women abroad. She has been actively involved in the Institute for Economic Empowerment of Women. 

As an educator for the past 25 years including faculty and administrative roles, she currently serves as a professor in the DeVos Graduate School with duties to include the role of Academic Dean for Texas Operations.  Her core specialties include Critical Thinking, Integration, and Leadership. She also adds to her academic accomplishments the professional status of author and shares her passion for family.



Devos Northwood Faculty

Zoom Info on Tara Peters


Marlene Wagman-Geller

Linda Vines Bright

Leslie Andrews

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