Middle and high schools are the most fun and challenging years of our lives. There are so many things that we have learned and yet have to learn during these years. We get to improve our social skills while we are trying to fit in with the adult world. These are the years where others notice everything that happen in our lives and keeping a secret can be very difficult. This is the phase where we notice how different we are from the others.
Teenage pregnancy is very common for this generation and for a 13-year-old girl, knowing that your friends noticed it first can be embarrassing and might just be the most awkward moment in your life. Kennedy Griest is a high school student from Michigan. She and her friends went to a pool party. They took pictures while in their bathing suits and posted them online. One of her friends noticed something odd about Kennedy and she posted this comment:
“Oh my God, look. Kennedy’s pregnant.”
Kennedy was equally shocked as her friends are and the rumors spread so fast that she had a hard time coping with it. She denied the rumors and claimed that she and her boyfriend used protection. As days went on, she thought that the changes in her body were just the normal ups and downs of puberty. To prove to herself and to everyone that she is not pregnant, she decided to take a pregnancy test.
The pregnancy test results came back POSITIVE and her friends were right, Kennedy Griest is pregnant!
She was only thirteen so it was normal to receive dirty looks and gossip because of her pregnancy. She did not let this affect her and she decided to keep the baby. Kennedy successfully gave birth in October 2014 to a healthy baby girl and she named her Adalyn. She knew that her situation would be difficult but she said that giving birth to her daughter changed her life for the better.
“I don’t know how to word it but I didn’t know who I was, so I guess being a mother is who I am. And that’s all I know and that’s all I want, is to be the best mother possible.”
No matter what the others say about her, this teenage mom stood up against the pressure and made her own decisions. Teenage pregnancy is still a taboo topic but Kennedy’s story remains an inspiration to other teenagers out there. She shared, “Although she’s is a little sassy, she’s perfect, and I wouldn’t want to change anything about my life.”
According to statistics, teenage pregnancy in the United States dropped in number. In 2015, a total number of 229,715 babies were born to women who are 15 to 19 years old and this is 8% lesser compared to the previous year. However, this still means that 3 out of 10 high school girls get pregnant at least once before they reach 20.
Being a parent at an early age is one of the reasons why teen girls group out of school. Facts reveal that over 50% of teen moms never graduate from high school. Teenage pregnancy awareness should be lifted up. This is a very important issue that should be discussed because teenagers should understand that there are health risks and repercussions that come with it. Knowing about all of these is important for the younger generation.