Long Before Teen Mom on MTV

Long before Teen Mom hit MTV screens, way back in 1989, while working for the Philadelphia Inquirer I spent a few days at William Tennent High School in Warminster, Pennsylvania making pictures of a program geared to keep Teen Moms in school. The school, and mostly, Centennial School District, set up a day care program so young women that had children while in high school could keep on attending school and get their diploma. It was pretty simple. The girls would drop of their child before classes started, then go to school. They could come back to visit the children any time during the day. Then would pick them up after school and in some cases, actually do their homework in the day care while waiting for the bus ride home.

Here are some of the images from the package I did in 1989. Images were shot with Tri-X film and probably pushed to 1600 ISO in most interiors with Nikon F3’s as camera of choice.

A teen mom does her homework while her daughter has a snack.


Teen mom and her daughter leave for school as her mother says good bye.

Teen mom and her daughter play during lunch break.

A group of teen moms share a laugh in the lunch room.

During lunch, a teen mom sets her daughters hair.

A young boy and girl play in the day care area of the high school.

Diaper changing time for a young child of a teen mom.

Teen mom drops off her daughter at day care at the school.

Lunch time in day care.

While her daughter is in day care, a teen mom chats in class with a friend.

A teen mom pours milk into her daughters cereal before leaving for school.

A child kisses her teen mom goodbye after being dropped off for day care.

Teen mom and daughter arrive for school.

Teen mom has a snack with her daughter.