Pregnancy is the number one reason girls drop out of school. But two teen moms are beating the odds and being honored for it.
Joceline Bello, Frances Hurtado and their three year old boys have a lot to celebrate this week.
The girls are graduating from high school despite being teen moms.
"It was hard but I managed," said Hurtado.
Bello had no help with childcare and had to rely on friends to babysit so she could go to school.
"There were days when I had no one to watch him so I could not go to school. And there were weeks where I wouldn't go to school because of that," said Bello.
They said time management was key to studying and keeping their grades up.
"When (my son) was asleep I'd hurry up and get it done," said Hurtado.
"I'll sometimes go early to school and do my homework before I go in and turn it in," said Bello.
Bello would sometimes go to school two hours early.
"I had to be at school at 1:15 p.m. so I'd leave my house at nine in the morning and catch the bus and go to school," said Bello.
"I just asked for a lot of extra assignments and extra credit. If I didn't like my grade I'd do the same thing," said Hurtado.
23 ABC met Bello three years ago when she was going to school during the day and parenting classes at night.
Her motivation today is the same as it was then.
"I just wanted to prove to my family and others that just because I had a baby at a young age that I could still accomplish high school and go to college," said Bello.
Hurtado says her inspiration comes from her son.
"Not only doing it for me but for him. Just graduating and knowing I had to get a career to provide for my son instead of sitting on the couch all day," said Hurtado.
Their hard work has paid off. Both girls have received a college scholarship from planned parenthood.
"I did it. I'm happy for myself," said Bello.
Their message to other teen moms:
"Keep going. There's nothing that could stop you," said Hurtado.
"Don't look back. Look forward to your future. Think about you and your baby and stay focused in school," said Bello.
Both girls will use their scholarships to attend Bakersfield College.
Bello plans to get a degree in Human Services and Hurtado wants a degree in Criminal Justice.
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