Teen to hold graduation in jail, after getting diploma from virtual high school

ST. LOUIS - Mekayla Thomas made history when she became the first female graduate of St. Louis's 24-hour virtual Workforce High School. The 19-year-old graduate had been in and out of jail since she was sixteen for stealing cars and breaking into houses. Determined to turn her life around, Thomas enrolled in Workforce High School while incarcerated at the Medium Security Institution on Hall Street and worked hard to earn her high school diploma. She was released recently and is now preparing to graduate. Thomas could have had her graduation ceremony just about anywhere, including the Mayor's Office. But she chose to have it at the jail on cell block four where she was held along with other women. Thomas says she wants to show the women how much she has changed and inspire them to work hard and earn their diploma, too. Family, friends, lawmakers and representatives from the St. Louis Public School District are scheduled to attend Friday's graduation ceremony at ten o'clock. Thomas plans to attend Forest Park Community College this fall. She wants to be a funeral home director.