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Hemby stays hopeful with new addition

SAT. | 04-30-22 | FEATURES

     Showering a classmate with thoughtful gifts can be exciting and heartwarming. Junior Aniya Hemby has stayed hopeful through her friends and family showing her love. On Tuesday, March 8, Angie Byrne’s Health Science l class held a baby shower for Hemby. She was expected to have her baby on April 21, 2022, but had him over spring break on March 17, 2022. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, due to pregnancy and motherhood, 30% of teenage girls drop out of high school. However, Hemby has had a positive attitude throughout this process as she has had a big support system and has been able to develop strategies for her schoolwork.

     Not only did her classmates bring joy for Hemby, but other teachers teamed up with the class in order to make this an even more special day for her. Hemby’s first period teacher was in on the baby shower surprise with her second period Health Science l class.

     “In my first period class, my teacher

Aniya Baby Shower Pic.png

Photos by Ava Alger

stopped me and told me she needed to talk to me… and asked me about some classwork,” Hemby said. “She took me down to [my] class and she knocked on the door and I saw everyone and they said ‘surprise’.”

     Hemby had no idea that the class was planning this baby shower for her, and the students successfully pulled it off. 

     “When I first found out I was pregnant, I was happy,” Hemby said. “With all [of] the classes I have now, I knew that I would still be able to get my work and stuff done because of the support I have in my family.”

     When freshman Mary Jane Gallup found out that Aniya was expecting to have a baby soon, she thought of an idea that her class and teacher could work on together. 

     “When me and Luci [Corder] found out that Aniya was pregnant, we thought it would be a great idea to put [a baby shower] on because we didn’t know if her family was putting one on for her,” Gallup said.

     With the class holding an early baby shower for Hemby, it was actually very beneficial for her. 

     “I was supposed to have a baby shower on March 26th, but I didn't get a chance to because he came early,” Hemby said. “We just told people when they come to the house to see me and the baby, [and] just bring a gift if they want to.”

     “When my health science class surprised me with my baby shower, I was happy and excited,” Hemby said. “I didn't know whether to cry or be happy.”

     The planning process of the baby shower took three weeks, in order for the students and Byrne to get all of the necessities prepared.  

     “For the baby shower, we bought decorations, Luci made cookies, Mrs. Byrne bought snacks and other things, everyone signed a card, and people bought her clothes and other kinds of gifts,” Gallup said.

     During the baby shower, the class had typical celebration activities, such as food, games and gifts.  

     “We had a diaper game, where we melted chocolate bars in diapers and people could guess which ones they were,” Gallup said.

     Hemby was showered with gifts contributed by her classmates and fellow teachers. 

     “Aniya sat in the rocking chair and opened up her presents, which was great to watch her do,” Gallup said.

     Hemby received gifts such as clothing, diapers, toys, a snack cup and a card. She felt the kindness from her peers and was grateful for the baby shower she was given.

     “All the stuff they gave me and did for me made me feel important, and it showed me they really cared,” Hemby said. 

     Hemby has continued to complete her schoolwork and become a mother, supported by her sense of hope. Her health science class has shown her a lot of love and attention, which has been quite beneficial. Staying hopeful throughout the process has been very helpful and has had a positive impact on Hemby. 

     “I know that teen pregnancy can be hard, especially [while] going to school, so showing her that our classroom cared and that we wanted to do something nice for her; I think it meant a lot to her,” Gallup said.

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