Getting pregnant right out of high school has become very common. Having a child comes with a lot of responsibility and attending college may not be an option. For University of the District of Colombia alumni, Surety Golden, college was not an option at all. Golden became pregnant after she graduated from high school in 2005. At first she was reluctant to even have the baby. “I was scared” Golden said. “I’m only 18 and having a baby was not on my to do list.” Golden was able to have the baby and raised her daughter with the help of her mother. However, having a minimum wage job was not what she wanted to do for the rest of her life.
Golden was prepared to attend college on a track scholarship but things obviously changed. “For a year I worked and took care of my daughter. Though I love my daughter, I really wished I could’ve went to school like the rest of my friends.” Golden began applying to schools and was accepted to University of District of Colombia. “I was able to take night classes and even online classes.I worked and took care of my daughter and I was able to graduate.”
Golden is now working and plans on attending graduate school one day to become a school counselor. “it is not impossible to have a child young and still go to school and be successful. I just thought that I didn’t have the time or the money and I’m sure a lot of young mothers today feel the same way.” According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) Pregnancy and birth are significant contributors to high school drop out rates among girls. Only about 50% of teen mothers receive a high school diploma by age 22, versus nearly 90% of women who had not given birth during adolescence.