Of the million or so kids who drop out of school every year, nearly half are girls. They drop out for the same reasons boys do: they skip school, fall behind academically and they’re bored. But the single biggest reason girls drop out is because they get pregnant.
Not a day goes by that Lauren Ortega doesn’t regret quitting high school. When she turned 15, she got pregnant with her son.
Her pregnancy cut short so many things, Ortega says. A job, a car, her own apartment, college, and just being independent.
Now, at 20 years old, she complains about gaining weight and feeling a little lost. She’s studying to get her GED at a school for adults in San Bernardino, Calif.
Ortega remembers she was starved for affection when she met Joseph, her boyfriend. She was only 14.