In her first three-and-a-half years at Center Grove High School, Autumn Haviland skipped classes, was expelled twice and was failing.
In December, she found out she was pregnant. She had only one semester left, but she knew she had to work hard if she wanted to graduate with her class.
“I decided it was time for me to grow up,” Haviland said.
With a lot to do in a short amount of time, she applied to the Center Grove Alternative Academy and was accepted.
When she started out at the academy in February, she had 18 classes to complete and was in the throes of morning sickness. She had some trouble adjusting to the new environment at first and eventually became a full-day student to help her handle her class load and graduate with a Core 40 diploma.
“When Autumn first came here, she didn’t like it. She would have a sour face when she walked in. This learning style was a hard transition for her. But once we were able to break it down and build her confidence that she could do it, I think she started embracing it,” said Beth Bryant, Center Grove Alternative Academy director.
Before long, Haviland, 18, began paying more attention and took detailed notes, and her grades began improving.
“I didn’t want to get C’s,” she said. “I wanted A’s so I could get my GPA up. I hadn’t done that since seventh grade.”
On top of her class schedule, she was also working 32 hours a week. With no license, she depended on rides from her grandmother, mother and boyfriend. Their support, along with the inspiration provided by her pregnancy, helped her get through the rest of the school year and earn her diploma.
“If I hadn’t gotten pregnant, I don’t know if I would have graduated on time. It probably would have been next year because I wouldn’t have been trying to get all my classes done.”
Haviland and her boyfriend, Kyle, live together in Southport and are expecting a baby girl in August. Later, she hopes to join the National Guard and eventually study criminal justice at IUPUI. Her long-term career goal is to be a detective.
Name: Autumn Haviland
School: Center Grove Alternative Academy
Lives in: Southport
Post-graduation plans: Expecting a daughter in August. Hopes to eventually join the National Guard and study criminal justice at IUPUI. Long-term goal is to be a detective.