Fighting for the ‘throwaway’ girls


Schools of Thought

By Jamie Gumbrecht, CNN

CNN Films’ “Girl Rising” documents extraordinary girls and the power of education to change the world. Watch it June 16 on CNN.

Detroit, Michigan (CNN) — A winter’s thicket of weeds still choked the soil outside Catherine Ferguson Academy late last month when the old school’s loudspeaker crackled on.

“Good morning, good morning, good morning,” Principal Asenath Andrews belted out. “It’s a bright, sunny, ready-to-garden day!”

For decades, this is where Detroit’s pregnant teens and young mothers have come to earn their diplomas. It’s the only school in the city that gives them space to study while their babies are cared for just down the hall.

For the 100 students at Catherine Ferguson, high school diplomas are the minimum expectation; college acceptance letters are the aim. It has a reputation for academic rigor and comprehensive study: Students might spend afternoons on internships, weeks traveling overseas…

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