In response to Mayor Bloomberg’s newest, and often offensive, billboards shaming kids against teen pregnancy, one young mother, Gloria Malone, shared her personal experience in the New York Times.
Some people argue that these ads are a fresh approach to dealing with the problem of teenage pregnancy. But I can tell you that there’s nothing innovative about them. All they do is take the insults and stereotypes directed at teenage parents every day, and post them up around the city.
At 15, I was a good student and determined to apply to college. But after I had my daughter, my high school guidance counselor refused to see me and help me with my applications. She never expected me to graduate. Most people, even within my family, assumed I wouldn’t amount to anything and would be dependent on government assistance for the rest of my life.
But I wanted to be someone my daughter could be proud of. So every day, I woke up before the sun, drove my daughter’s father to work, my daughter to day care, and still managed to be in class at 7:50 a.m. before the bell rang. I also worked 35 hours a week at a cellphone store. I would leave school early through a co-op program that allowed graduating seniors to work and go to school at the same time. After getting out of work I would pick my daughter up from day care and go home. I was always tired, but more than anything I was determined.
Read Gloria Malone’s entire piece at the New York Times.
The Root aims to foster and advance conversations about issues relevant to the black Diaspora by presenting a variety of opinions from all perspectives, whether or not those opinions are shared by our editorial staff.