A Small Hand to Hold

The Speech and Debate team has entered their qualifying tournament season and one student already accomplished the goal of making it to the national tournament.

Last weekend, senior Rachel Simon qualified for the tournament in congressional debate. It will take place on June 18 in Birmingham, Ala.


Hailey and Ryan back to back
In June of 2013, senior Hailey Lindsley’s life changed forever. Now, nine months later, her life will never again be her own.

According to the National Vital Statistics Report conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were about 305,000 births to teenagers age 15-19 in 2012. While down six percent since 2011, the United States’ teen pregnancy rate is nearly double to that of the United Kingdom, which has the highest teen birth rate in Europe, as stated by a study done by the National Campaign.

Lindsley, 18, is among many female adolescents who became pregnant before the age of 20, but even with her circumstances, she is not letting her pregnancy or her age get the better of her life.

“I know I am young, but having Lilly will change my life for the better,” Lindsley said.

Lindsley said her pregnancy has not been hard.

“It’s been crazy, but I’ve had a pretty easy pregnancy. I haven’t had any morning sickness or any symptoms,” Lindsley said.

Lindsley is anxious for her daughter to arrive. Lilly Mae Langenberg is expected on Feb.  1. Lindsley decided on her name because she had a great grandmother named Lilly.

“I’m excited and nervous, mostly for the labor, but I’m also nervous about taking care of her,” Lindsley said. “She’ll always be my number one priority.”

Lindsley wants Lilly to grow up to be independent.

“I’m going to raise her to not be afraid of anything, to always follow her dreams, to never give up and always believe in herself,” Lindsley said.

Lilly’s father, Ryan Langenberg, currently works at a plastic manufacturing mill in Bridge, Oregon. He has supported Lindsley since the beginning.

“He has been there and gone to a couple appointments with me and has bought her a couple outfits,” Lindsley said.

Langenberg did not have a job upon finding out about the pregnancy.

“I was scared about having a kid young,” Langenberg said.

Lindsley does not have a job, but plans on having assistance from government programs as well as her family.  According to DoSomething.org, nearly 75 percent of unmarried teen mothers receive welfare in the first five years of the child’s life.

Her parents, David and Lisa Lindsley, have been supportive throughout the pregnancy and are proud of their daughter’s decisions.

“I knew this was going to be hard for her, and she is plugging along and finishing school online,” Lisa said. “She’s doing amazing with it and putting forth the effort.”

Lindsley decided to stay in school. She switched to online schooling in September, and she is on track to graduate with the rest of the senior class.

“I kept [myself] in school and am going to graduate because I want to be able to go somewhere in life, not only for myself, but for my daughter, too,” Lindsley said.

She does not plan to go to college, however, and is unsure of a permanent career.

“At first I was going to be a nurse, but now I think I might want to just work in an office,” Lindsley said.

Langenberg is also unsure of the future.

“I don’t know yet [about the future], I’m just living in the moment,” Langenberg said.

Lindsley and Langenberg have been a couple for the past two-and-a-half years; however, they do not plan on getting married. According to the National Campaign, less than eight percent of teen mothers marry the father of their child.

Lindsley plans on living with her parents and raising Lilly in a family-oriented environment. She is excited for her daughter to come and for them to start their lives together.

“I plan to give her the world, or at least I plan to give her everything I can,” Lindsley said.

“I just want what’s best for her because she’s my world.”