Pregnant teens need support, not judgment
The Jan. 11 Metro story “Helping kids who have kids” made me want to share my story of what support can mean to a pregnant teenager. When I was 17, I was an honor-roll student in a private school, captain of the dance team, class representative and on a path toward college. I also discovered I was pregnant. Suddenly, instead of asking me where I’d go to college, people questioned whether I would graduate from high school. I faced discrimination, mostly from teachers, and was forced to transfer to a more supportive public school with a low-cost day care program.
This was the support I needed. I went on to graduate and attend college, and I now have a fulfilling career in health care.
When teens become parents, their lives become more hectic, and they face new challenges. Programs like the one The Post featured help us stay on track. But too many people continue to hold the misconception that supporting teen parents encourages teen pregnancy. In reality, helping parenting teenagers achieve their goals leads to a better life for the teen and her child. We should invest in teens, not indulge groundless fears.
Natasha Vianna, Newton, Mass.