Photo and story by Jaliyah Armon  

One night, Janesha Bryant was settling down in her bedroom. She had recently received a new TV and excitedly picked it up. Suddenly, on the left side of her ribs, she felt as if her muscle pulled. Bryant’s parents rushed her to the emergency room. Later, when getting her X-rays and having a check-up, weirdly, anticipation pumped through her veins. Bryant didn’t understand why she felt that way when it could only just be her broken rib. The doctor came back with results following up on her physical exam.

“Well, Miss. Bryant, you are 19 weeks pregnant. Congrats!” the doctor said, flipping over the clipboard toward her. Bryant gasped, feeling shock and fear travel through her body all at once. The feeling of her heart sinking down into her stomach and the sweat forming on her palms sent her body shaking a bit from the startling news.

Bryant looked over at her parents with the same surprised and confused expressions their faces also displayed. At the back of her mind, she didn’t want them to change the way they view her while she was in the process of welcoming a new life into this world.

“He means nothing but the world to me,” Bryant exclaims when describing her son, Amir, who is 6 months old. “I was able to move on in my life and to be a better person for my child with the support I received from my family and friends.” At the time of her son’s birth, she was only 16 years old.

Not many young people think about their future because they are so focused on their pasts and determining who they are as a person overall. Parenting teens typically lack the support they need when raising their children. Their own parents may even disown them because they are disappointed.

Bryant may be a single teenage mother, but she is still active outside of motherhood, including the Youth Media Project. “I find myself very caring, athletic and outgoing,” she says.

She is aspiring to be a cosmetologist, following in her mother’s footsteps. She took an interest in hairstyles from watching her mother at work. Whenever she would ask her mother to do her hair, her mom would say no and she would have to do it herself. Bryant’s favorite hairstyle is braids.

Bryant would also like to join the military to be a registered nurse because she would like to work with children. She would like to explore the world and live her dreams in a safe way.

The Lanier High School’s senior isn’t much of a people person; however, she is very observant of others around her to know who’s a good or bad person based on how they act. When she found out she qualified to become a senior in high school, the news made her so happy. The only way she could move on and be happy in her life was with the support from the people around her.

YMP student journalist Jaliyah Armon is going into the 12th grade at Callaway High School.