SOW: Kaylie Clark February 16, 2009

Tyler Clark, 11 months, waves hello from his toy car as he and his mother Kaylie play in the living room of their home.

Kaylie Clark finished four years of high school in one year.

“My thinking was, ‘I’m pregnant. I’m gonna be a mommy. I can’t be a high school student,’ ” said the 16-year-old senior at R-5 High School.

Clark said she was 15 years old when she had her son,Tyler, in February 2008. She was living with her father in Naturita at the time and had entered the Young Parents program at R-5 in October 2007.

The program for teens with children allows the students to work toward completing their high school graduation requirements at their own pace.

Clark said she worked hard, did her classwork on the weekends and finished her graduation requirements last October so she can graduate in May.

“I found it better to go at my own pace,” Clark said. “If I had problems with something or was struggling with something, I could come back to it.”

Clark is taking one marketing course at Western Colorado Community College in her last semester as a springboard to eventually owning her own business.

Clark said she wants to enter beauty school this summer after she turns 17. She plans to attend the Salon Professional Academy.

“I’ve always wanted to own my own salon,” she said. “We’re an all-girl family, so I’ve had lots of practice playing with hair and makeup.”

Clark said she wants her salon to have a relaxing, family-like atmosphere for her customers where “we know you by name,” she said. She has been talking with the owner of Salon
Professional Academy, she said, who has encouraged her to follow her dreams.

“It makes it more of a reality,” Clark said, “You think, ‘Oh, I have a baby. I can’t do it.’ ”

Clark said before her son was born, she played volleyball. Now, however, her favorite sport is keeping up with Tyler, who will be 1 at the end of the month.

“That’s my hobby,” she said.

Tyler is “at the age where he’s playing with everything he shouldn’t,” Clark said, even though he has tubs of toys.

“It always was a weird thing, having a baby,” Clark said. “You start out not used to caring for someone else, but he’s such a happy, wonderful baby.”

GPA: 3.54

Parents: Kevin and Lori

Preferred college: Salon Professional Academy

Where she sees herself in 5 years: starting up her own beauty salon

Favorite music: all types

Favorite TV show: reality shows and cartoons with her son

Personal hero: her mom

Why?: “She’s overcome a lot of stuff on her own and came out on top,” Clark said. “She helps me out a lot. If I was on my own, I know I wouldn’t make it.”

I’m most proud of: overcoming the stereotypes of young moms and doing something with my life


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