Juggling Books and Babies
By: April C. Thornton
Teen pregnancy among African American women is increasing dramatically across the nation. Statistics that surround teen pregnancy is often associated with a life of failure and hardships. Society automatically assumes that teen mothers will be trading their life of adolescence and innocence for a life of responsibilities and challenges. Furthermore, society believes that teen mothers are less likely to strive for a higher education and possibly limit themselves to minimal paying jobs, after they conceive their child. This is far from the truth, since there are many African American teen mothers that are attending universities or colleges and raising their child at the same time. Beat that statistics!!!!!!!
Who said teen mothers are incompetent to raise their child, to dedicate themselves to their academics and still have time to obtain a part and/or full-time job position? Countless times I have witnessed teen mothers conquer the adversities that society laid out for them without complaining. They do not allow the negative statistics to become their reality, but it is their motivation to prove that teen mothers can achieve greatness.
Not only is Vivica Brooks a junior at Bowie State University, but she is a proud parent of a baby boy. While, other teen mothers might’ve dropped out of school, Brooks’ dynamic support system and Federal Pell Grants allowed her to continue with her education. Brooks’ says, “My son is my responsibly and I had to set goals for myself. I knew I wanted to finish school, that wasn’t an option.” She proves that statistics does not have the upper hand in deciding her life’s path. “It does not matter how long it takes me to graduate, I am going to graduate,” mentions Brooks’.
Some African America teen mothers are faced with financial struggles or do not have a strong support system. Whatever the reasons might be, it is virtually impossible to attend a university and/or college to increase the chances of better employment and guarantee a better future for their off-spring. Sorry, the phrase ‘virtually impossible’ no longer carries any meaning. There are no excuses why teen mothers cannot achieve a higher education. There are varieties of scholarship grants for single mothers and federally funded Pell Grant Programs that will provide financial assistance. This information can be accessed through the internet and can benefit your life and the life of your child in a major capacity.
If, teen mothers invest the same time and energy into obtaining a higher education as they do with raising their child, I would ensure you that success will be yours. Do not become a statistic.