RENO, Nev. -- Raising a child is not an easy task, especially for a teenager trying to finish school. Planned Parenthood honors seven teen moms with the Morgan Scholarship to pursue a higher education.
Pregnant at 15-years-old, Haley Carlile trader her school books for diapers as she took care of her 14-month-old son, Aiden, while still attending high school.
"I didn't know what to think. i was like overwhelmed at like how i could graduate high school when i have a baby to take care of," Carlile said. "When you get pregnant, most of your old friends they leave you because you're pregnant and they can't relate too much."
That's why she enrolled in Teen Success, a once-a-week program hat helps teens stay motivated to finish school and to end repeat pregnancies.
"A Lot of times, teen moms feel really alienated like no one understands them. There's a really big stigma in our society about being a teen mom and so teen success is a really important piece that just offers a mom a place to experience adolescence and adulthood all at the same time," Jillian Anderson, Teen Success program director said.
"All of these girls are pregnant or they already have kids and they helped me become a better mom, to be a better person, to be confident that I could achieve my goals," Carlile said.
According to Planned Parenthood, pregnancy is the number one reason girls drop out of school. Refusing to be another statistic, Carlile took online classes and graduated high school a year early.
"I just wanted to show my son that even though it was such a big obstacle in my life, that I could still graduate high school," she said. "I wanted to show him that there are no excuses, you can still always finish school at least."
With high school behind her, she is now aspiring to finish college and become a nurse.
WITH HIGH SCHOOL BEHIND HER...SHE IS NOW ASPIRING TO BE A NURSE.
"Do what you want your kids to do," she said. "If you want your kids to graduate high school, then go graduate high school because they're going to look back on you and say 'Mom, you didn't do it, why do I have to?'"
Carlile will be attending TMCC this summer as part of its Bridge
The Morgan Scholarship was established to provide graduates of the Teen Success program an opportunity to attend college. Unfortunately, due to a lack of funding, this is the last year it will be offered.
To find out how you can help, follow the link attached below.