LAWRENCE – A third of young women who drop out of high school cite pregnancy or parenting as a key reason. Janesa Rosamaria Rapaglia-Santos of Lawrence wasn’t going to let that happen to her. On June 9, she will don a cap and gown with her two young sons by her side, and graduate from the Phoenix Academy-Lawrence with nine other seniors. But her path to graduation wasn’t straightforward.
Rapaglia-Santos found out she was pregnant with her first son after she graduated eighth grade. She was pregnant during the first few months of her freshman year at Lawrence High School, and tried to hide it by wearing loose clothes – she said she was ashamed. But she liked school.