Constance Brooks watches her son Caiden through the front door of her mother's house in Henderson, Ken.
Constance Brooks (left), changes her son Caiden Williams' diaper while her mother, Donna Brooks, looks on. Constance and Caiden live with Donna and she helps her daughter care for Caiden.
Constance Brooks and her mother drop Caiden off at daycare before taking Constance to Henderson County High School. Brooks, 17, is a senior and doesn't drive, so her mother takes Constance and Caiden to daycare and school every morning.
Constance Brooks waits for the end of her last class at Henderson County High School. Brooks, 17, started her junior year at HCHS when her son Caiden was barely two months old. At first, she was afraid that she'd have to drop out and earn a G.E.D., but she has stayed in school and is determined to graduate.
Constance Brooks, center, enjoys the spirit rally for Homecoming at Henderson County High School. Becoming a mother at 16 drastically changed Constance's social life. She said it can be hard when her friends go out on weekends and she can't go along, but her close friends and family are still involved in her life.
Constance Brooks carries her school bag, her son's carseat and her son into her mother's house, where they live.
Constance Brooks attempts to do her homework, but is prevented by her 18-month-old son Caiden Williams, who wants nearly constant attention. "It was really bad when Caiden was first born," Constance said. "I missed a lot of days" of school.
Feeling exhausted after Caiden threw a nearly 30-minute tantrum, Constance Brooks tries to calm her son in the kitchen. "It's not easy. It doesn't get easier. You never just get used to it," Williams said about being a mother.
Constance Brooks talks with guidance counselor Nathan Grace during her lunch at Henderson County High School. Grace told Constance that she failed the first semester of her English class and will have to take an intersession class to pass the class and be able to graduate.
Constance Brooks is one of about 14 teen moms at Henderson County High School that meet two to three times per month to discuss their lives and learn about community resources for young mothers. The support group was organized by Robin Galloway, a guidance counselor at Henderson County High School. Galloway can relate to the girls' struggles since she was a also a teenager when she had her first child. "My heart is really with these girls," Galloway said.
Enjoying their reflection in a mirror, Constance Brooks plays with her 18-month-old son, Caiden Williams. Although being a mother can be a daily struggle, Brooks—like many mothers—loves her son deeply. She said that when she looks into his eyes, "I don't know how to describe it. I feel connected to him. I see a little of myself in him."
After throwing a 30-minute tantrum, Constance Brooks was finally able to calm down her son Caiden Williams by laying down with him in her bed. "It's not easy. It doesn't get easier. You never just get used to it," Williams said about being a mother.
Constance Brooks plays with her 18-month-old son, Caiden Williams, on the couch. "I just want to give him a good life," Brooks says about being a mother.