Here’s a unique scholarship money idea: earning cash for your empty womb! A program at University of North Carolina at Greenboro called College Bound Sisters, started by two doctorate-holding nurses, has paid teen girls one dollar per day for college if they don’t get pregnant. The participating girls are the younger sisters of teen mothers, who are statistically at risk for becoming teen moms themselves. Over the course of several years, two groups of girls (12 to 14 and 15 to 18) meet separately over food each week for an hour and a half for goal-setting and planning for college, as well as sex ed. Thankfully, it’s not a abstinence-only group so the girls learn useful information about birth control. Quarterly meetings are also held for parents of girls in the program. Each week a girl is not pregnant, she has $7 placed in her college fund, which is given to her when she enrolls in college.
Well, hmph. I was a super-nerd in school, so I hate the idea that some people get rewarded good behavior while others get nothing for it. It’s really not fair to us nerds and boring people who do what we’re “supposed” to be doing! Still, one can’t ignore that some people say this program might work.
According to AOL’s DailyFinance.com, 10 girls out of 125 girls who participated College Bound Sisters have graduated from college, while 40 graduated from high school, and only six have gotten pregnant. Likewise, Wendy Amundson from Planned Parenthood told DailyFinance.com about a similar program to prevent teen mothers from having a second child, which gives out gift cards and CDs for reaching certain goals. She said in 15 years, only six out of 540 girls have had a second pregnancy.
Ultimately, I think it’s a good program in an ends-justifying-the-means way because it helps more young women pay for college, especially disadvantaged women or women of color. But really, if I had buckets of money to spend on ending teen pregnancy, I wouldn’t put it towards stuff like this. Isn’t this program really just a Band-Aid solution for a small group of girls? I think it’s much more sensible to teach all children and teens nationwide comprehensive sex education and make birth control easily available. [Daily Finance]