Panama City - Without the Rosenwald Teen Parenting program many young women would be forced to drop out of school to care for their baby. They simply can't afford traditional daycare.
"You go to school, do your homework. For me I have to come home, make sure the house is clean, make sure we have food and all that stuff." 17-year-old Bobbie Slate has a lot on her plate. She's a mother, a student, and a wife. Bobbie and Aaron got married when she was 4 months pregnant with Karleigh. "The first day I found out I was pregnant I was crying my eyes out and it was just very scary for me. But her father, my husband, was really excited for some reason." "I was always taught to take life one day at a time, to take what you have as a gift," said Aaron.
They're taking it one day at a time, as parents. The young couple gets a lot of help from the paraprofessionals in the nursery at Rosenwald High School. Without the Teen Parenting program Bobbie May have been forced to drop out. "I'd have to go to work instead of going to school to be able to put her in daycare." "When a student graduates, it puts them in a different category, other than being a dropout. It enables them to provide better provide for their children," said Rosenwald Principal Anita Dillard.
Aaron works 50 to 60 hours a week and makes a decent paycheck detailing vehicles. But he admits they'd be drowning without the program. "Financially it has helped alot, because daycare is really expensive now, anywhere from $100 to $150 a week and we can't afford that right now." And without Rosenwald's help? "I have no clue. I don't even want to think about it, that is a lot of extra stress that we don't need to think about right now. It helps alot, having that program," said Aaron.
Bobbie plans to finish high school next semester, then enter the nursing program at Haney Technical Center. Twelve teen moms were enrolled in Rosenwald's program this year.