Proud to be from Pittsburgh: Angels' Place

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PITTSBURGH —

Alysia Finger had some help making sure she graduated from Carnegie Mellon University with two degrees.

"I don't know that I ever thought I wouldn't finish, but I definitely was worried for a while," Finger said.

She was worried because the unexpected happened.

“When I first found out I was pregnant, it was definitely a scary time.”

In 2013 in Allegheny County, there were about 1,300 teen pregnancies. Of those who decide to keep their babies, about two-thirds quit school.

“A lot of times, people with unplanned pregnancies will have to discontinue their education," explained Beth Banas, executive director of the nonprofit Angels' Place.

For 30 years Angels' Place has offered free childcare and support at its three Pittsburgh locations to qualified student parent so they can finish school and use their education to provide a better future for their children.

“It was like night and day from beforehand to after hand…, how much smoother school went after that,” Finger said of her experience with the organization.

Onasha Presberry was a high school student at Woodland Hills, and only 17 when she became pregnant.

"I don't know that I ever thought I wouldn't finish, but I definitely was worried for a while," she said.

Presberry not only finished high school, but she’s now working on a college degree to become a math teacher.

"It is our hope that by attaining higher levels of education, parents can go out and get the employment they need so they can sustain themselves and their children,” Banas said.

Angels' Place has three locations, serving student parents in Swissvale, Brookline and on the Northside.

There are 25 kids at each center.  Angels' Place just celebrated 30 years, and estimated it has helped a thousand young families. 

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