Stories from Teen Parents

"Before having my daughter I basically moved to the beat of my own drum. After high school I attended John Jay College for a semester, with expectations of moving to Florida to have a new beginning at a new school. I was also looking forward to shopping and partying. But at the age of 18 I got pregnant and had to put everything that was important to me at the time on hold and prepare for motherhood mentally and emotionally.

Now that my daughter is here I'm on her schedule, and every day is dedicated to meeting her needs and wants; I can't even go to the bathroom at my leisure. My concerns have gone from going to parties and going shopping to making sure that my daughter has all of her basic necessities. Having my daughter made me mature at a faster rate than I thought and it immediately took away my childhood. My new game plan is figuring out how I'm going to be a full time mommy, while going back to school full time, as well as working full time."

–Ocha-Grace Solomon

"Before becoming a parent, life was a breeze for me. I graduated high school early at age 16. Most mornings I had football practice, but it wasn't just practice in my eyes. I always considered it as being a stepping stone to my dream career of becoming a professional football player. I was also on a dance team where I performed at the Apollo Theater, the circus, concerts, and theme parks.

While living this wonderful dream I was also planning to go away for college. After talking with my parents about it things seemed as if they were set in stone. Then I found out my girlfriend was pregnant. Immediately after hearing the news I started thinking, I had so many things going for me and now becoming a father was going to alter my future.

Now I am currently devoting my time to my child instead of football and dance practice. If I am not home with my child then I am working to not only support my family but to deliver a message to other teens to prevent them from falling into the same situation."

–Jazzwal Stuart