Our life is filled everyday with different choices, everything from what we eat and wear to what we watch on TV and the music we listen to.

Some choices are trivial, such as which dressing goes on our salad. Others are monumental life decisions, including moves, college, and what to do if you experience an unexpected pregnancy. Women facing an unplanned pregnancy ask themselves “Should I parent the baby, make an adoption plan, or have an abortion?” For some, it may seem that only one choice is possible, especially for those planning to further their education.

Maybe the thought of going to college and having a baby at the same time seems impossible. However, being pregnant isn’t automatically the end of your educational dreams. This may be the motivation you need to plan for the future, both for you and your unborn child. It does not have to be one or the other. It’s possible to go to college and also have a baby, even if law school is your dream. Read this inspiring story of a young African-American single mom who graduated from Harvard Law as a single mom: https://www.goodmorningamerica.com/family/story/graduated-harvard-law-24-year-single-mom-gave-58966469.

First Things First

The first reality is the birth of your child isn’t happening tomorrow; you have time before this baby is actually here. Now provides the opportunity to prepare and to search for resources you will need, such as health insurance, a doctor, and financial options.  Sometimes pregnancy seems like a crisis that is happening right now, but there is time to take a deep breath and knock down what seem like barriers, such as finances. Did you know scholarships are available for single moms and that many colleges and universities provide daycare for families and single women? Research schools you may be thinking of attending and learn how they can help you. Here’s a great place to start: https://www.thebestcolleges.org/the-20-best-colleges-for-single-parents/.

Online education is also a strong option. Such programs have grown tremendously during the past decade. If you stay in Wyoming, that doesn’t mean you have to opt for only the community colleges, the University of Wyoming, or a UW branch in Wyoming communities. Online education through Grand Canyon University, Southern New Hampshire University, Capella, Phoenix, and, closer to home, Chadron State College, offer online programs.  Here’s a list of affordable online colleges, according to BestColleges.com: https://www.bestcolleges.com/features/cheapest-online-colleges/

Should You Postpone School?

Dropping out of school isn’t the best idea. Doing so could affect your future income. College graduates, on average, can earn 56 percent more than those with high school diplomas. Trade schools and college programs are keys to a higher income level.

What program should you take? Tests can reveal what strengths you have and jobs at which you can excel. What is the dream job for you? Don’t think about the obstacles, think about what you were created to do and what your purpose is. Like the young woman who graduated from Harvard Law, persist in following that dream and purpose.

According to an article on Credit Donkey, 28 percent of college students drop out before their sophomore year.  The number one reason is money, but not high tuition. Instead, the reason is many students find difficulty balancing school and work.

There are scholarships available to help alleviate financial hardships as noted earlier. Also, Casper College offers free assistance to help students through programs targeted toward low-income individuals, first-generation college students, and individuals with disabilities. This is a federal program called TRIO and is offered through Educational Opportunity Centers at the University of Wyoming, Casper College, and the other community colleges in the state.  Call the office at 307-268-3071 or visit the website to learn more.

How True Care Can Help

True Care has a program available to patients who are college students called Adopt a College Student. Financial donors are matched with a pregnant college student who comes to our center during her unplanned pregnancy for her pregnancy test and ultrasound. The donors help support these women as they pursue their higher education. We want to do everything we can to support and encourage women to finish their studies while continuing their pregnancies.

If you are facing an unplanned pregnancy, call 307-215-9684 and schedule an appointment at True Care. Our nurses will confirm your pregnancy and our advocates will go through all of your options. You will then meet with True Care’s resource coordinator who will help you get all the support and resources you need and sign you up for the Adopt a College Student program if pursuing higher education is something you desire to do.  We want you to know you don’t have to choose between college and your baby – you can have both!