Teen motherhood can be what seems like an insurmountable obstacle when you’re trying to finish school.
According to the Michigan League for Public Policy, the number of teen moms is going down in the state, and more teen moms are finishing high school.
The statistics may be looking better for teen mothers, but that doesn’t mean that earning a diploma while raising a child is easy.
That’s why special programs are helping to make that happen.
“I found out I was pregnant a couple of months after I turned 16,” said Katie Moore, a student who is a mother. “I was in my sophomore year of high school, and it totally felt like my entire world was changing.”
Katie Moore felt trapped.
She knew her education was important — but after having her baby Crius, she wasn’t sure how she’d would be able to earn her diploma.
She credits Cooley High School in Cadillac for getting her back on track.
“When I started school here I was actually a year and a half behind and I’ve completely caught up now. So that’s pretty amazing.”
Counselor Jessica Brown helped Katie make a personalized plan to graduate.
Now Katie does classes online half the day and spends the rest of her day at the Wexford-Misauke Career Tech Center.
“Sometimes being a new counselor I’ll think, am I allowed to do that? Wait, yes I’m allowed to do that, that’s what they need. Of course,” said Cooley High School School Success Worker Jessica Brown.
She thinks the key to increasing graduation rates among teen mothers is the willingness to treat each student as an individual and find the best way to help.
“I think just looking at each student, each person each mom individually and what their needs are and addressing those needs.”
Thanks to a new school and supportive family, Katie’s looking forward to graduating in June.
“You don’t have to give up your goals in life. You can still get where you want to go and you’re going to have this amazing little person to come with you now,” Katie said.
To read the full report from the Michigan League for Public Policy, .