Local school district helping teen parents with child care center
New $3M facility funded by Prop. U
Last Updated: 251 days ago
EL CAJON, Calif. -
A new $3 million building on a local high school campus is helping students with children continue with their education.
Grossmont High School seniors Austin Swisher and Sarah Amposta never thought they'd be parents at 17 years old.
Swisher and Amposta just met, but they have at least one thing in common. they're both enrolled in a state-wide program offered in the Grossmont Union High School District called Cal-SAFE. The program encourages teenagers to stay in school while their young children are not far away.
"College was always one of my goals and dreams, and it still is," said Amposta. "But this did kind of set me back a little."
"In the big picture of life, I wasn't expecting to have a kid before I was even 18," said Swisher.
While Swisher and Amposta are in the classroom, each of their infant daughters is inside the district's Child Development Center.
The new facility was built with Proposition U money -- a $417 million bond measure passed in 2008 by voters.
The facility currently serves 110 high school students in the district.
"It's so important," said Theresa Kemper, assistant superintendent of the Grossmont Union High School District. "I mean without a program like this we would lose a lot of students, they would not complete a high school diploma."
10News also asked if the program is a reminder for other students to think twice before making impulsive, life-changing decisions.
"They really do see the responsibility that comes with raising a child," Kemper added.
According to the district, 85 percent of the students enrolled in the program graduate from high school. Approximately 63 percent head to college and trade schools.
Parents outside the campus weighed in.
"Some people seeing teenagers with babies see how hard it is," said freshman Kate Norton, referring to the response on the campus from other students.
"I think pregnant teenagers have a right to a high school education if they can pull it off just like anybody else," said her mother Cheryl Norton.
For Swisher and Amposta, they say being a good parent and finishing school are imperative.
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