Last semester in my capstone photojournalism class, we were assigned a pretty simplistic topic: issue. We could pick whatever issue we felt needed covered. From this project we had to produce photograph, a multimedia project, write a story, and design our own layout. I decided to cover teenage pregnancy, but not MTV’s “16 and Pregnant” glorified high-school dropouts, but real young women here in Southern Ohio struggling to balance obtaining an education and become a mother at a young age. I came across Jaylynn through her younger sister, Taylor. Taylor was a part of a work-study program at the local middle school at worked at the dining hall with me. I asked her if she knew any young mothers, and she told me about her older half-sister and her two-month old baby Natalie. I met Jaylynn, and she was thrilled to do the story. The more I talked to Jaylynn and Eric, or as he prefers Tyrell, the more I developed empathy and respect for the young couple and parents. They spoke of their hopes and dreams for their new baby girl and for their own futures. I still talk to them, and Natalie is growing into an adorable little girl more and more every time I see her. I wish them the best and know that they will do what ever is best for their daughter.
Below is the links to the layout and story, a gallery of the selects, and a link to the multimedia piece.