You’re a teenager and your pregnant. So now what?
You probably have more questions than answers right now. Well I have good news for you! There are many programs available to help you succeed. Having a baby earlier than expected does not mean that your life is over. Now you just have to figure out a different was to live it. You can still finish high school & go to college…yes, even if you plan to keep your baby.
You will be able to qualify for government grants, scholarships & financial aid programs that are specifically designed to help girls in your situation. You could also qualify for state-funded medical care for you and your baby, food stamps, child care assistance, and WIC programs that help you get food and formula that you need while you are pregnant & the baby needs after birth. The goal of these programs are for you to use them to get to a place where you will lead a happy, successful life. You DO NOT need to find ways to stay on government assistance. However, these programs are out there and you should take advantage of them if you qualify.
I had my first child 2 months after high school graduation. I did not even go to my graduation because I was starting to show & I was too embarrassed. When my mother told the school counselor that I was pregnant, they tried to make me leave and go to the school for kids with disciplinary problems. There was no way I would have survived that! I came close to dropping out of high school. None of my friends knew that I was pregnant, so I had no support & nobody to offer advice. I finally decided that I would continue high school & I graduated with a 3.85 average. I thought there was no chance of me ever going to college. My beautiful baby girl was born in July and I was back at work in September, working full time for minimum wage. I saw no future for us.
If only I knew then what I know now! About 4 years ago I decided that I would go to college. I started looking into the federal grants & programs that were available. What I found out made me sick! I could have gone to college absolutely free, right after high school!! In fact, the TOPS program would have paid for my books & I would have additional money left over to live on. That is even before the Pell Grant & other financial aid. I would have qualified for housing, food stamps, child care assistance, etc. If only someone would have told me what was available. I admit, it would have been a little embarrassing to live on government assistance for a while, but would the long term results be? After 4 years, I would have graduated from college & be able to earn a decent income for me and my family. Instead, I struggled to survive for 12 years before I found out.
I know this sounds cliche, but STAY IN SCHOOL!… and go to college, technical school, or take some type of career training program. Don’t wait like I did. You want to raise your precious son or daughter as good or better than you were raised, right? Find out how to what you want to do, get help from a counselor at school, church or a Crisis Pregnancy Center, and find out what type of aid is available for you.