Brittany Jundt Growing up the American Dream has come to represent the attainment of numerous goals that are specific to each individual. While one person might consider a purchased home with a white picket fence her version of the American Dream, another might regard it as the financial ability to operate his own business. Clearly, there is no cut and dried definition of the American Dream as long as any two people hold a different meaning. What it does universally represent, however, it the opportunity for people to seek out their individual and collective desires and dreams. My sister is seventeen and still finishing her junior year of high school. She is also unemployed, does not have a license and pregnant. Her dream has shifted to not so much what she wants, but what she is going to have to do to overcome the obstacles to achieve her American Dream for her and her unborn child. Her American Dreams consist of graduating high school, becoming a nurse and one day get married buy a house and settle down. All on top of being a single parent and a teen mom. Alisa is seventeen years old and pregnant she is considered high risk because she was born at twenty-six weeks and was in neo-natal intensive care unit for a couple months. Then at the age of eighteen months old she had open heart surgery. So she is considered high risk and was highly encouraged not to work until after the baby is born. She is very intelligent and has always been the good kid in my family out of us four girls. That is until her father let her start dating. Her father lives in another town and has a separate set of rules than the ones at our mothers house. Her first boyfriend lasted a year and some odd months, she lost her virginity to him and it went downhill from there. Then after she got out of the unhealthy relationship she started dating a family friend we grew up with most of our lives. So while on her father’s parenting time he let her go all around town and do as she pleases. This included spending time with her nineteen year old boyfriend unsupervised to do whatever their crazy hormonal selves wanted to. That is how she ended up seventeen and pregnant.
Being a parent is hard enough, let alone being a teen parent. For my sister Alisa who is still in high school her first obstacle is going to be graduating and getting her diploma. Between doctors’ appointments and her being very ill thus far she has a long road ahead. High school is a challenge without a child. She now has to deal with the woes of pregnancy for the remainder of the semester as well as keep up on her school work from home. (Due to her being diagnosed with hyperemesis) Young teen mothers are even less likely to graduate from high school. Fewer than four in ten (38%) mothers who have a child before they turn eighteen have a high school diploma.1 This is probably one of the bigger difficulties she is going to have to face, because she has the rest of her junior year and her senior year to finish. A major factor in being a parent is providing for your child, not having a license puts my sister at a pretty big disadvantage. She was on course to take the classes through the high school until our family found out she was pregnant and she became ill. So now she has to wait until she is eighteen which is not until next year. This means that our mother will have to bear the burden of running her around where ever she may need to go. Not being able to work until after the baby is born she has no way to save any sort of money. The financial burden also lies upon our mother; she is a child having a child. She is not ready or able to be independent and care for herself and the baby on her own. Until she has the baby she cannot work. “Agriculture Department’s figures for the cost of food, transit, clothing and miscellaneous expenses (personal care items, entertainment, reading materials) for children in a two-parent household in the urban Northeast with a combined