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Through Our Eyes

Reports from student journalists at Melrose Elementary, John Hopkins Middle and Lakewood High schools in St. Petersburg

‘I’m breaking the stereotype’

Special to SNN

23

February

People like to stereotype pregnant teens, making it seem like everything is impossible after they have had a baby. The stereotypes say that pregnant teens won't finish high school, won't go to college and won't do anything with their lives as far as a career.

Parenthood is the leading reason that teen girls drop out of school. According to the TeenHelp website, only one-third of teenage mothers complete high school and receive their diplomas and fewer than 2 percent of teen moms earn a college degree by age 30.

I'm Elizabeth Wright and I'm a senior. I am currently the mom of 2 1/2 -month-old Raiden Bouey. My junior year I got pregnant in the middle of the school year. When I first found out, I was terrified like any other teen.

When I finally told my family, I received negativity and disappointment. My dad told me I wasn't going to finish school and wasn't going to go to college or do anything with my life. Two months after I told my dad, he was diagnosed with kidney cancer and he died in May.

After disappointing my dad, it didn't take too long for me to realize I have to keep going for my future.

I like to say I'm breaking stereotypes because my pregnancy isn't stopping me from achieving my goals. My goals are to finish high school, go to college and have a career in photojournalism.

I'm in school about to graduate, and I have plans to go to St. Petersburg College next fall. With me being a mom now I can't go to a university like I wanted, but I can still go to a college. Even though you have to give up something's there's always another option.

Four weeks after having my baby I came back to school motivated to finish. I'm graduating and going to college - so what stops other teen moms? A lot of teens get unmotivated and start to have the give-up-everything attitude because they have a baby. This is why pregnant teens are stereotyped because a lot of teens prove these crazy assumptions to be true.

I feel that a lot of teens get pregnant and become lazy because it's the expectation that they will drop out. They use the pregnancy as an excuse for them not accomplishing their goals.

But I wanted to graduate, and there were so many people making sure it would happen by giving me support and different options. Just here at Lakewood I got advice and help from principal Erin Savage, assistant principal Harriet Davis, social worker Janine Comegys, counselor Kadyianne Jackson and several people from All Children's Baby Place.

What I found is that the "impossible" is very possible, and my experience proves that a baby doesn't have to stop you from your goals.

[Last modified: Tuesday, February 23, 2016 3:13pm]

    

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