I am not a failure

A whole seven months later and the comments on the Tribune’s website about my graduating story still sting my heart and give me an upset stomach. Before tonight I have not looked at my article since last June, but some friends and I were talking at school about people’s thoughts on teen pregnancy and I shared with them to go look at the articles website to see what people in our community think about it.

I don’t know what gives people the right to say the things that they said about me and about teen mothers and fathers in general. Those people need to wake up and realize that some young mothers and fathers can be the best parents a child could ask for… 

Webster said on: May 27, 2010, 8:17 am
I am sorry, but this sorry gives teenage girls the wrong impression. To me it is saying it is ok to be a teenage mom. I thought society was trying to prevent this not encourage it. It is great this mom has stayed in school and worked hard but seriously, I think this is bad on Bismarck Tribune to think it is ok to publish this. 
 
whatever77 said on: May 28, 2010, 11:54 am
I am sure that all of these POSITIVE comments are coming from this girls family and friends. They should be ashmaed of themselves along with the Bismarck Tribune for putting teenage preganacy in a positive light…
 
Why? Why is it bad on the Tribune’s part to publish a POSITIVE story about someone graduating high school?! They are trying to shed some light on the fact that teen pregnancy IS an issue in North Dakota. Everyone in this state is so stubborn that they won’t look around and see that there are girls like me that did get pregnant at age 16 and did graduate high school and ARE going to college!  I am not even close to being a failure.  People in North Dakota and all over this country need to wake up and realize that teen pregnancy is happening. So instead of more funding for abortion clinics let’s spend more money on helping young mothers make the best out of their future. College scholarships, discounted daycare to students, ANYTHING. Let’s show these other young mothers that they CAN do it. With that, I say THANK YOU, once again,  Bismarck Tribune for featuring me. Let’s spread the positive word that life throws you curve balls… and if you get pregnant when you are 16, you can do it. Be strong and don’t worry about the people in your life and community that tell you you can’t do it. That just gives you all the more reason to prove them wrong and be an amazing parent.

Comments

Girl congratulations on staying strong and not letting these comments discourage you. I had both my kids in high school and graduated, got my BA and am starting grad school this fall. Its ok to be proud of your accomplishments, and you must definitely bring some light that teen parents can be contributing members to our society...as good role models to our children and mentors for other girls that are In our shoes. Best of luck with everything!

Girl congratulations on staying strong and not letting these comments discourage you. I had both my kids in high school and graduated, got my BA and am starting grad school this fall. Its ok to be proud of your accomplishments, and you must definitely bring some light that teen parents can be contributing members to our society...as good role models to our children and mentors for other girls that are In our shoes. Best of luck with everything!

.. Keep doing what you're doing. People want you to fail but as you say, this only fuels your fiery desire to prove them wrong. More teenage girls like you need to make it into the media. They want to show girls who are struggling because they think success stories like yours will encourage young girls to get pregnant. This perpetuates the myth that all young and / or single mothers are a blight on society. The true story needs to be put out there: It isn't easy, by any stretch of the imagination, but not all teen mothers fit the mould society has created. .I was older than you at 22 when I got pregnant and had to temporarily leave university, but people still expected me to fail because the father walked away. I didn't. When I wrote my story for a national newspaper, I also got loads of negative comments. Some people just lurk on sites like that, waiting for something controversial to rant about. Well done for graduating. Well done for helping to break the myth about teen mums. Don't be ashamed, be proud and keep being vocal. Emily xx

Jess, You did an amazing thing and no one can take that away from you. Know that you have support and that we are here to say thank you! There is nothing to be ashamed about and voicing your success should never be frowned upon. Society wants teen parents to be shunned but then complain when we don't succeed. Keep being a great mom and inspire any teen parents out there who felt like there was no hope.

People who say that positive stories are "encouraging" teen pregnancy really just have no respect for young women. They seem to think that teenage girls are so stupid that they would hear the story of someone coming out on top of a difficult situation, and rush out to get pregnant themselves. Personally, I try to give young women a little more credit than that. Most people agree that having a child as a teenager is difficult, and not ideal. But we should be celebrating the fact that it doesn't have to be the end. No matter what, teen pregnancy happens, and it will always happen. We should be honoring mothers like Jess who show girls that this doesn't have to be the end for them. What is the alternative? Shaming young mothers into silence, sending them off to live on their own island so they don't influence "the good kids?" I'd really like to thank Jess for sharing her story, despite some negative feedback. She should be really proud.

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