Name of Host Organization: ACLU of Northern California
City, State: San Francisco, California
Sponsors: Fenwick & West LLP
Angélica ensured that pregnant and parenting students in California’s Central Valley schools were afforded equal educational opportunities through advocacy, litigation, and organizing.
Need Addressed By Project
Education provides a pathway for pregnant and parenting students to a more secure future for their children and themselves. Most pregnant and parenting students want to remain in school, and federal and state laws require schools to provide these students with equal educational opportunities. In practice, however, many California schools erect institutional barriers or employ discriminatory policies that inhibit their educational outcomes, contributing to a drop-out rate of 70 percent among teen mothers. This problem is particularly acute in the Central Valley, home to eight of the 10 counties with the highest teen birth rates in the state. Most teen mothers are low-income young women of color who already face barriers to educational equity. Education offers an escape from the poverty and inequality that are rife in this region. However, when denied access to educational opportunities, teen parents are more likely to face unemployment, and their children are more likely to grow up in poverty.