MARIA: Young motherhood in North Carolina
Maria, a sophomore at Chatham Central highschool, discovered she was pregnant during a
routine check-up with her family doctor 17 months ago. At first she was scared to tell her family and
friends, but after encouragement from loved ones, Maria has grown accustom to young motherhood.
Her boyfriend has moved into her family’s home to help out with the baby, and maria is continuing
school while learning to be a mother.
As part of an adolescent parenting program run by the Chatham county health department,
parenting coordinator Faye McCormick helps Maria out by taking her to parenting classes and with
transportation to and from school and daycare.
North Carolina has been the 14th highest ranked state for teen pregnancies in the country for
the past ten years according to U.S. census statistics. Chatham County’s average was 40 pregnancies per
1,000 girls between the ages of 15 and 19 in 2009, while the state’s average was 56 per 1000 (according
to appcnc.org.) Latina teens in North Carolina have the third highest rate in the country according to an
article in the daily tarheel.
This story was documented for a multimedia class at UNC. Kevin Ziechmann is a senior photojournalism
major from Charlotte, NC.