Teen moms get diplomas at Horizonte

Teen moms get diplomas at Horizonte

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) - It's that time of year when teens across Utah are getting ready to sport a cap and gown and accept their diplomas. When it comes to graduating high school some of those teens faces more challenges than others.
SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) - It's that time of year when teens across Utah are getting ready to sport a cap and gown and accept their diplomas.

When it comes to graduating high school some of those teens faces more challenges than others. Such as Candelaria Angeles whose life changed forever when she became a mom at 16.

“It was scary at first,” she said.

Her classmate Yesenia Martinez found herself in the same scary situation in the middle of high school and pregnant.

“I was 15 when I got pregnant and had her at 16,” she said. “It was kind of hard and kind of scary too having a baby that's like really hard.”

Especially hard would be balancing being a young mom and finishing school. Only half of teen moms in Utah get their diploma, according to ChildTrends.org.

But this year, 10 teen moms at Hortizonte High School are beating the odds and graduating.
Angeles and Martinez are even do so a year early.

“Thanks to Horizonte, the teachers and everybody has been helping me to get my credits up and I’m going to graduate early,” said Martinez.

The girls say they wouldn't have been able to do it without Horizonte's parental support programs and on-site daycare. The principal tells ABC 4’s Kim Johnson it hasn't always been this way for teen mothers in Utah.

“My mother was a young parent and these resources were never available to her,” said Mindi Holmdahl, principal. “Had these resources, parenting classes, day care classes, support to focus on education so she could provide for her kids, had that been there she definitely would have taken advantage of it.”

On Thursday, the Soroptimists of Salt Lake, who bring in motivational speakers for the teen moms, gave them a special graduation ceremony.

The teens say the support has made all the difference, but the real motivation is what they go home to at night.

“In order to provide support for my son, he is my motivation if it wasn't for him I wouldn't be able to graduate,” said Angeles.

After graduating, both teens plan to go to college to become nurses.
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