MIAMI (WSVN) - A South Florida mother of six walked across the stage after earning her doctorate degree over the weekend – a dream that almost never happened due to her rough past.

Thirty-six-year-old Monique Walker graduated from medical school Sunday, fulfilling her life-long dream of becoming a doctor.

Her journey, however, was anything but smooth.

“I’ve always been driven by obstacles,” said Walker. “I’ve always been driven to kind of jump the hurdles. I think that’s just who I am … that’s how I’ve attacked life. It’s kind of like there’s an obstacle and instead of shying away from it, I go towards it. I’ll face it, I’ll face the obstacle, and every time I do that I find myself at a higher level.”

At just 15 years old, after a history of childhood abuse, Monique found herself homeless and pregnant with her first child.

The teen was kicked out of the house by her mother and was forced to drop out of high school, but even then, that did not stop her.

Monique spent the next few years working on receiving her high school diploma.

“It’s crazy because when I went back to school I was 18 years old,” she said. “My class had graduated, so I graduated even a year later than I’d anticipated.”

She attended more than one high school before graduating – determined to provide a better future for her son.

“I was working at a call center. I was working the night shift, 10 to 7, and I would leave my night shift, and I would go to school in the mornings. It was 9:30 to like 3, and then I would go to night classes four days a week.”

Monique eventually got her degree from Seagull Alternative High School in Fort Lauderdale and went on to earn a nursing degree from Florida State University in 2010.

After escaping an abusive relationship in 2013, Monique enrolled in Montserrat’s University of Science, Arts, and Technology, with the goal of becoming a doctor.

Now, years after starting her journey, she finally got to walk across the stage at the Intercontinental Hotel in Doral to receive her medical degree.

“That dream that I had as a 7-year-old little girl has come true,” said Monique. “I’ll be a doctor – well I am a doctor! I’ll get the official papers this weekend!”

Through her hardship, Monique never lost her determination and strength to finish school and provide for children, even finding love along the way.

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