Cassie Cleveland, Junior
Six days before Cassie's 17th birthday, a time where most girls would be planning their birthday parties, Cassie was in the hospital giving birth to her daughter, Lauren. On Monday, May 3, 2010 Cassie was invited into Mrs. Jodie Seymour's class, the book The Six Most Important Decisions You'll Ever Make speaks about the harsh reality of teen pregnancy and parenthood.
The class was silent as they listened to Cassie explain how much her life has changed since having Lauren. Cassie no longer has the privilege of being a carefree teenager. Before she makes a decision, she must think about how it will impact not only her life, but the life of her eight month old daughter.
When asked how Cassie feels about doing normal teen activities, she stated, "I can't really do them anymore. I feel the need to be responsible. I don't feel like a teenager anymore."
Cassie explained how without the support of her parents, she would not be able to attend school, play sports, or possibly raise Lauren.
When Mrs. Seymour asked Cassie why she decided to talk about such a personal topic, Cassie explained, "I wanted to show people how much I've changed. Last year I was ignorant and selfish. I only thought about myself, what I was going to do, and who I was going to be with. I've changed for the better. Lauren has changed me. When I look at her, I can't imagine myself doing the things that I used to do."
Cassie's brave discussion came just two days before National Prevent Teenage Pregnancy Day, on May 5, 2010. For more facts and information about teenage pregnancy and National Prevent Teenage Pregnancy Day please visit www.stayteen.org.