The Pregnancy Project
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It started as a school project…but turned into so much more.
Growing up, Gaby Rodriguez was often told she would end up a teen mom. After all, her mother and her older sisters had gotten pregnant as teenagers; from an outsider’s perspective, it was practically a family tradition. Gaby had ambitions that didn’t include teen motherhood. But she wondered: how would she be treated if she “lived down” to others' expectations? Would everyone ignore the years she put into being a good student and see her as just another pregnant teen statistic with no future? These questions sparked Gaby’s school project: faking her own pregnancy as a high school senior to see how her family, friends, and community would react. What she learned changed her life forever, and made international headlines in the process.
In The Pregnancy Project, Gaby details how she was able to fake her own pregnancy—hiding the truth from even her siblings and boyfriend’s parents—and reveals all that she learned from the experience. But more than that, Gaby’s story is about fighting stereotypes, and how one girl found the strength to come out from the shadow of low expectations to forge a bright future for herself.
Read an Excerpt
BEFORE THERE WAS ME
For a moment, I understood just what it must be like to be a celebrity caught in the middle of a scandal. There I was, on a senior class field trip, in disguise, and running away from a reporter and cameraman who had followed me, trying to sneak a quote out of me for their story. That’s because I’m The Girl Who Faked Her Own Pregnancy as a Senior Project. Okay, it’s not an official title, but it might as well be. Overnight I went from being just another unknown seventeen-year-old girl in small-town Washington State to an international media sensation. It was weird.
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Reading Group Guide
Reading Guide for Gaby Rodriguez’s The Pregnancy Project
Prepared by Pam B. Cole, Professor of English Education & Literacy, Kennesaw State University, Kennesaw, GA
How are stereotypes created? How are they dangerous?
Is it possible to pay for our mistakes?
Why are teens often judged on the behaviors/experiences of older siblings? Is doing so fair?
Does teen pregnancy “ruin” a young person’s life? Explain.
Describe Gaby’s relationship with her mother. How is her relationship different from what her siblings have with their mother? What accounts for this difference?
How would you characterize Gaby’s relationship with her siblings? With her father?
Is Gaby a responsible teen? Explain.
How does Gaby get the idea for her project? Why does she choose something so difficult?
Why does Gaby want to complete the pregnancy project to fulfill her senior requirement? What does she hope to achieve?
How does Gaby gather research for her project and garner support for it in her school?
In order for her project to be successful, Gaby and her boyfriend must lie to family and friends. What impact does this decision have on their relationships with their families? With their friends?
Gaby comments that she felt like a zoo animal at school when everyone believed sh see more