The number of Delaware teens who get pregnant while in school is on the decline. In fact, the state now ranks 7th in that category.
Around 2,000 teen pregnancies occur each year in Delaware. And while that number might seem high, the number of teens getting pregnant has been shrinking since the mid-nineties. According to the Delaware Adolescent Program, better known as DAPI, that’s because many girls are getting the answers when they need it most.
Kim Trivits, the Sussex County Director said, “We have unique opportunity to influence and encourage them, and give them knowledge and support and let them know how wonderful being a mom can be, but also letting them realize the greatness of being a mom is to support your children, and that you can be a good example to children.”
The girls who attend DAPI remain enrolled at their regular high school, and can visit classes in any of the state’s three counties where the program is offered. 16-year old Brooke Johnson, who’s currently pregnant says, “Everybody here is going through same thing, girls here already had their babies, and you see what they are going through. It helps you prepare for what your about to become – a mother.”
Nearly all the girls who attend DAPI get their high school diploma, and many don’t stop there. Some of the girls are now working professionals. “If you help one girl to realize her possibilities and change her life outcome, you are changing that baby’s life and so on and so forth,” says Trivits.
DAPI takes on between 75 to 100 girls each year. In the meantime, the program is taking a closer look at the reasons why teens do get pregnant a second time. But Trivits is happy to report, that every girl that came into DAPI last year, left with birth control, which is a first.