Being a teenager can be an emotionally difficult and uncertain time. As can being pregnant for many women. But being a teenage mom-to-be must amplify these feelings of over sensitivity and insecurity a great deal. So the last thing a young woman in this predicament would need is for a total stranger to openly mock her in public. But the best revenge is a life well lived, and one North Carolina female who found herself in exactly that position actually credits the incident for inspiring her to succeed.
Alicia Shanay Collins is a 27-year-old woman who grew up in the southern city of Charlotte, NC. She attended high school just like most other teenagers but at the tender age of 15 it is fair to say that Collins’ life deviated from the norm. Her educational career at Charlotte’s Hawthorne High School took a different turn to other girls her age when Collins fell pregnant.
Although Collins’ situation was hardly conventional, it was by no means extraordinary either. Today, the U.S. has one of the highest teenage pregnancy rates among Western industrialized nations. Happily, however, the number of teens falling pregnant has declined in recent years. When Collins found herself with child in 2005, the birth rate for the 15-to-19 age group was 40.5 per 1,000 girls. Ten years later, this figure was at 22.3 per 1,000.