NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - The children Candi Montgomery tutors go home by noon. Come December, Montgomery is expecting to be responsible for a child all her own.
The 18-year-old says she was shocked the day she found out she was pregnant. She is now over that and can reflect on some poor decisions.
"I was in too big a hurry to be grown, to be an adult and I didn't myself the time to be the child I should have been," Montgomery shared.
Montgomery became sexually active at age 14 due, in part, to being a rebellious teen. She could have easily become pregnant at an earlier age. Every 10 minutes, a teen in Texas gets pregnant. Every 10 hours, a 14-year-old gets pregnant. Montgomery is 18. Every 35 minutes, an 18-year-old gets pregnant. (According to Texas Department of State Health Services)
Montgomery has her regrets.
"I wish I had waited and had been more careful with my decisions," Montgomery admitted. "I wish I had took the time to weigh the consequences."
There are several consequences. Montgomery is working two jobs, postponing her university studies to become a pediatric nurse. She must rely on family, friends and service agencies to help her through this unplanned pregnancy.
Montgomery says she will go to school, but will begin about eight months after her child's birth. She has her future in mind, but also keeps the future of other young girls in mind.
"You are a super smart girl," she said to one young elementary age girl.
She uses a writing exercise based on compliments to help build children's self esteem and discourage them from repeating her mistakes.
"I wouldn't want to see her in my situation, pregnant as a teen," Montgomery said. "That would be the last thing I would want to see."
So, she's helping them stay on track so their teenage years aren't robbed by adult responsibilities.
For data on Teen Pregnancy: www.dshs.state.tx.us and go to family planning services.