Teen Parent Program has a 91% success rate in Pasco - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Teen Parent Program has a 91% success rate in Pasco

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PASCO, Wash.-- -

Teen Parent Program has a 91% success rate in Pasco. Getting a job in the future without a high school diploma is very difficult.

So the Pasco School District has zeroed in on this group and now very proudly boasts of a 91% graduation rate for teen parents in their program. It's the highest in the state. The key is the extra support system school staff provide for these young families. School leaders help these kids though a tough time and it pays off.

Around 8:00 a.m. every day, New Horizons High School students get off the bus with their children and go to school together. While the parents are in class the children are cared for in a daycare. It's part of the Teen Parent Program. Students get child care services while earning high school diplomas.

New Horizons High School Principal Christy Rasmussen says "they can have access to education and remove the barriers that get in their way of graduating because graduating from high school is important and it's imperative to teen parents."

It's been a huge success state-wide. The child care program helps put the teen parent at ease. Their child is being cared for while they focus on securing a promising future for their family. Student Marcella Morales says the opportunity to do the program gave her a second chance at school. She says if the opportunity wasn't there, she would have probably dropped out of school. "Over here you get a warm welcome instead of a cold shoulder," said Morales.

Administrators are encouraging more districts to offer the program so more students can have a better chance at finding a job. The Parent Program is funded by the Boys and Girls Club. Right now they take care of more than 22 children every day. In 14 years the program has helped more than 126 teens get a high school diploma. Students in Pasco can also take parenting classes and college courses.

Now the Richland District is looking into creating a similar program. We'll give you an update on their progress.

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