By Alice Daniel, California Healthline
Stephanie Huerta grew up in a farmworker family in rural Caruthers, 15 miles southwest of Fresno. Her parents are from Mexico and neither had the opportunity to finish high school — or in her mom’s case, middle school.
At 14, Huerta got pregnant and gave birth at the beginning of her freshman year in high school. Huerta was a very good student and, with the help of a counselor, she got through that school year even while caring for an infant. Her sophomore year, a new program called the Doctors Academy started at Caruthers High School. That was seven years ago, and it changed Huerta’s life.
“Looking back it was the best decision I could have made,” said Huerta, now about to become a college graduate. “I would have still been in Caruthers, maybe going to city college. I would have been pregnant again because that’s the cycle quite honestly. And I would have been too scared to go anywhere,” she added.