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High School Dropout This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.


   A high school dropout - that's what I was. School didn't seem important; it wasjust a daily routine. Then I was 15, pregnant and a dropout; my boyfriend, also adropout, was 18. How far could a pair like us go?

The day our baby wasborn, my boyfriend and my mom were at my hospital bed, my mom encouraging usboth. When he saw part of the baby's head emerge, he exclaimed, "It's agirl!" My mom, puzzled, asked how he knew. He excitedly replied,"Because she has a lot of hair." For a moment I forgot about the pain Iwas feeling and let myself be taken by his ignorance.

Soon after that, shewas a he and named after his daddy. I looked at my mom and boyfriend and saw theyhad tears in their eyes, which made me cry at this beautiful moment.

Westayed at my mom's in Arizona until the baby was six months old, then we moved tohis mom's house in another state. We were unsteady financially for a year.Finally we became independent; three months passed and his work and ourrelationship remained stable.

I was one month pregnant with our secondchild in December of 1999. Three months later I decided to take a two-week visitto my mom's, which turned into two months because my boyfriend decided not to payour rent.

He stayed at his mom's to keep working while I was with mymom.

In July I returned to New Mexico and moved back into his mom's house,which turned out to be a good thing. One day I called his friend's house. When Iasked for him, a woman asked who was calling. I told her his girlfriend. She saidI must be mistaken because her daughter was his girlfriend, and they had beentogether since May. After that he no longer came to his mom's house to seeme.

I had my baby that August, and moved back in with my mom. For a year Itook care of my two-year-old, my newborn, and my 17-year-old brother's newbornwhile he and his girlfriend went to school.

Then in 2001 I decided Ididn't need to depend on anyone, and wanted to support myself and my boys. Isigned up for school and re-entered tenth grade. I lived day by day, worryingabout dropping out again for lack of babysitters, but gracias a Dios I made itthrough. I studied hard and earned good grades.

I plan to graduate in 2004side by side with my son who will wear a cap and gown for his graduation fromkindergarten. For him it will be his first step to first grade; for me it will bethe final step from being a high school dropout.




This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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