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Teen moms get second chance at Hope Academy

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LA CROSSE, Wis. (WXOW) ---- According to the national campaign to prevent teen pregnancy 40 percent of teen moms drop out of school making them and their babies more susceptible to a cycle of poverty.

The Hope Academy helps teen moms continue their education while not missing out on that special bonding time between mom and baby.

A teen mom from Logan High School says she has high hopes for her future after enrolling in the program supported by the Women's Fund.  

Karly Deal says dealing with hiccups or rocking your sleep is the easy part.

The hard part is being pregnant in high school.

"People look at you and they judge you before they know you," Karly said.

At Hope Academy there is no judgement because you're among other teens just like you.

"We have groups with the teachers and there's mommy-baby time.  It's great!  I love going here. I never enjoyed school but now I do," said Karly.

Students take courses to stay current in high school but the core curriculum is about acceptance and learning to make better choices.

"You don't realize how hard it is until you're actually going through it. I don't take him back but I wish I would have waited until I was older," Karly said.

Social worker Dianne Range says rather than isolate a teen mom and focus on something that happened in the past, the community needs to focus on the future for mom and baby. "Being a teen mom is a hard thing. There's a lot of risk factors and when we provide services for these teen moms we provide them with all the support we can everybody wins," Dianne said.

28 students have graduated from the Hope Academy from 2009 - 2012.

If you or someone you know would like to enroll go to www.fcconline.org

To make a donation to the Women's Fund, an organization that supports projects relating to women and children go
to womensfundlacrosse.org    

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