Boise teen moms beat the odds ... and earn diplomas

Posted at 5:56 AM, May 31, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-31 15:56:59-04

On Wednesday, 18-year-old Hailey Gantz graduated from high school.

But Gantz's story isn't like most. She got pregnant at the age of 15. As she started thinking about her future, Gantz's did not think the school would be an option. 

"I didn't want to go to school because I had missed so much school. I was almost living by myself," said Gantz.

Experts say, without support, about 70 percent of pregnant teens drop out of high school. 

Gantz's counselor encouraged her to stay on track -- and helped connect her with the Booth Marian Prichett School in Boise. The school is a collaboration between The Salvation Army and the Boise School District. The District provides accredited high school education -- and the Salvation Army provides social services and parenting and life skills classes to the pregnant or parenting teens who are enrolled.

Deborah Nicely teaches at the school. She credits the school's success to its holistic approach. 

"Academics are absolutely very important also important teaching about parenting," she said,

The school also provides a sense of community and family. 

"I didn't really have support. My dad didn't support me, but I had support from teachers and other girls going through the same thing," Gantz pointed out.

 If the students keep up their grades and attendance, they are rewarded.

"The students say the 'incentive store' is a lifeline for them. They are able to use their store points to get diapers and wipes," said Lindsey Klein.

This school is just one of the four charities Six On Your Side is supporting during the annual Community Baby Shower. This program has helped thousands of young woman reach their full potential.