BOISE, Idaho — Community Baby Shower has had the privilege of assisting local families for 13 years, and in honor of our 13th year, we are telling the stories of families and nonprofits who benefit when you donate to Community Baby Shower.
One of those nonprofits is the Salvation Army in Boise, that supports the Marian Pritchett school. The school works to ensure teen parents don't become a drop out statistic by giving their students a space to finish high school and learn to be stronger parents.
Graduation is a moment every highschooler dreams of, but at the start of her senior year, Marian Pritchett student, Lillie Tovar, wasn't sure she would earn her diploma.
"It's super hard, especially being in school, especially being a senior, being all that and being pregnant, having a baby and going back to school is the toughest thing ever," Tovar said.
After finding out she was pregnant, the 18-year-old left her Boise high school and enrolled at Marian Pritchett .
"It's the best decision I've ever made because it's helped me become a better mom," Tovar said.
At Marian Pritchett, pregnant and parenting teens take coursework just like any other high school student, but they also take a life skills class on top of their class load. Lindsay Klein with the Boise Salvation Army says the class teaches the students important lessons about life outside of school.
"They can learn about healthy relationships. They can learn about financial literacy. They can learn how to check their oil in their car," Klein said.
Klein says the education style is practical and hands on.
The school assists the young parents even when they're not in the classroom through a program called Booth Bucks. When students attend class and make healthy choices for themselves and their child, they can earn booth bucks and spend them on baby items in the school's store.
Klein says it's about teaching the students to be on their own, while providing assistance when they need it.
"We don't just offer a hand out, it's a hand up," Klein said.
Tovar says without the teachers, staff and friends she's made at Marian Pritchett, she wouldn't have made it to graduation day.
"It's like a big family in a way," Tovar said.
Klein says giving students the support they need makes all the difference.
"We are really changing lives. It's a win win for everybody," Klein said.