Superintendent Barry Carroll said the assistant principals heard a presentation about the Ombudsman last week that highlighted one of Limestone’s students, Marylin Serrano. Serrano’s story was featured in a bulletin published by America’s Promise Alliance, a children’s advocacy group founded in 1997 with General Colin Powell as chairman. In the story, Serrano tells of her struggles as a teen mom.

ATHENS — In Limestone County, the Ombudsman program is offering struggling students, including teenage moms, a chance to complete their education.

The Limestone County Ombudsman program helps students who are at risk of dropping out of school due to lack of academic credits, learning problems or social and family challenges that keep them from succeeding in a traditional high school setting.

The program, which started in August 2009, is a partnership of Limestone County Schools and Ombudsman Educational Services. Superintendent Barry Carroll said the assistant principals heard a presentation about the program last week that highlighted one of Limestone’s students, Marylin Serrano.

Carroll said Serrano’s story was featured in a bulletin published by America’s Promise Alliance, a children’s advocacy group founded in 1997 with General Colin Powell as chairman. In the story, Serrano tells of her struggles as a teen mom.

“I had to go to high school during my pregnancy and deal with all of the looks and gossip from people at school,” Serrano wrote. “Not just that, but going home and knowing that your mother looks at you in a different way.”

She dropped out after her daughter was born, but then wondered how she would find work and support her baby without a diploma. Serrano repeated the 11th grade and is working on her degree through Ombudsman.

“When I graduate from Ombudsman, I plan to start college this fall,” Serrano wrote. “I will try my best to become a registered nurse. Being a nurse will allow me to help others.”