In 2011, 17-year-old Gabby Rodriguez convinced everyone that she was pregnant. While only her mother, boyfriend, and school principal knew the truth, she wanted to conduct an experiment that would not only benefit her future career as a social worker, but to find new ways to support teens and young women who became pregnant. Her friends and teachers knew that she was planning to go to school to become a social worker, but when they discovered that she was pregnant, they weren’t able to keep their opinions hidden for long. Their harsh words and misplaced judgments eventually circulated and got back to Gabby. While she was prepared for it, the words still hurt.
A lot of rumors were just that I was irresonsible and that I wasn’t going to continue on to college, and even, ‘oh, it was bound to happen anyway, I knew she was going to get pregnant.’ There was even one that said, ‘oh, doesn’t she know that she just ruined her life?’ ” Gabby reported.
She cleared the stunt with the principal and superintendent, but it took a lot of convincing to get the green light from them at first. Once she had reached “six months” of pregnancy, she decided to reveal that it had all been a sham. She removed the fake cushioning and revealed her findings at a school assembly. Students and teachers cried, but it left them having learned a valuable lesson.
She called the project, “Stereotypes, Rumors, and Statistics” and carried on with her 3.8 GPA to share her findings with her local leaders and other schools. She wants to help raise awareness and support young women and teens to carry on in their lives and educations with support from everyone around them, and to help stop the judgment that sometimes causes them to give up on their dreams.
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