Izabella Tovar didn’t let anything slow her down– not even an unplanned pregnancy at the age of 15. Izabella, who starred on the third season of 16 and Pregnant, just became a proud college graduate, joining the very small group of girls who get pregnant as teens who earn a college degree.
The 21-year-old mom of two just received a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from the University of Utah, making her the first girl from the ’16 and Pregnant’ series to get a Bachelor’s degree (to The Ashley‘s knowledge). What’s more- Izabella did it in only three years!
Statistically, only two percent of girls who were teen moms graduate from college. In an exclusive interview with The Ashley, Izabella says that she was able to do it thanks to support from her parents, fiance Jairo Rodriguez and two kids, one-year-old Anastazia and five-year-old Enrique (also known as Henry).
“I could not have gone to college without the support from my family,” Izabella said. “My parents and Jairo have always supported my goals. They have always been willing to watch the kids while I went to classes or worked on homework. Without them it would have been much more difficult to leave my kids.”
Even with a great support system, Izabella said she still faced obstacles on the way to earning her degree.
“The biggest obstacle for me was the exhaustion,” she said. “Even with the help from my family, I still had countless late nights doing homework, writing papers, and meeting deadlines. Being a mom myself meant that I still had to wake up early the next morning.”
Very few girls from the ’16 and Pregnant’ series have earned any type of college degree. Izabella is the only girl from the series to obtain a Bachelor’s degree (although Season 1’s Farrah Abraham sometimes states that she has one but it’s never been confirmed). Season 1’s Maci Bookout, Season 2’s Kail Lowry and Season 4’s Katie Yeager all hold Associates degrees. (Kail is due to graduate with her Bachelor’s in Mass Communications in December.)
Izabella acknowledged that there were times she thought about giving up on her college goals.
“I thought maybe I should just a get a job so that when I’m off work, I’m off and then I can go to sleep at a decent hour,” she said. “But I am glad I stuck through it because now with a degree under my belt I have so many more opportunities available to me. It was so worth it.”
Izabella has been with her fiancé’, Jairo, since she was 14 years old. They learned they were expecting Enrique a few months before she turned 15. They became engaged back in 2011, and welcomed a daughter three years later.
Izabella said Jairo earned his insurance sales license and now works for an insurance agency and loves his job. After a years-long engagement, the couple is finally planning to tie the knot.
“We are getting married soon. I’m not going to say when because we want it to be a surprise, but we are so excited,” Izabella said.
What else does the future hold for the recent graduate? More school!
“I’m going to continue my education by taking additional science classes to fulfill medical school pre-requisites. Then, I am going to apply to medical school,” she said.
It’s safe to say that Izabella will be the first (and most likely only) doctor to come out of the ’16 and Pregnant’ series!
Izabella posted a graduation photo to her Instagram account, along with a very inspirational caption:
They told me I couldn't. That's why I did. Three years ago I graduated from high school. That alone was an accomplishment since I had gotten pregnant at 14. Now here I am graduating in two weeks with my bachelor's degree in psychology a year early. But this is not the end of the road for me. I am continuing my education beyond this and my goal is still to become a doctor. I am so grateful to my parents & Jairo for their support in everything I do. It has been a lot of work that I couldn't have done without them. || ? @loriromneyphotography ||
(Photos: MTV, Instagram)
As a mother, grandmother and fan of this show I am so happy and proud to see a teen mother come out of this show with a bachelor’s degree. I’m so happy for you and I pray that you keep moving forward with your education and obtain your doctorates
Cate and Tyler wrote in their new book they had been heavy drug users who at one time any drug they could get their hands on. He said he now just uses pot, and that he is a heavy pot smoker and smokes every day. Drug 101 will tell you pot snaps your desire to do anything, it is the only drug that will reduce your iq by 6 points, depressed the nervous system. Now think how their conversations are on the show. And, I read in several places that kennel never stopped smoking pot until December. Her mystery was diagnosed as heavy pot smoking and the how it hurts your body. Think of all the sleep she needs, especially when she should have some patients for her children.
Can’t help noticing that the majority of those with some form of degree are also on Teen Mom… That makes it sound like a financial issue, sadly. A lot of the girls on 16&P are probably dirt poor. A lot of them live in remote areas with single parents who themselves don’t have a strong educational background. The paychecks from TM obviously open a lot of doors. Very impressed with Izabella though. And for those saying “oh, she couldn’t have done it without people to pay/take care of her kids”, no kidding? I’m 25 and married, and STILL eternally grateful for the support system that is eagerly awaiting my baby girl’s birth… It takes a village.
I think it’s great she has a support system. Most of the other 16&pregnant girls didn’t have a good support system. Their moms were drug addicts or theifs only some really had parents that genuinely cared about them. I think with her bachelors she should just find a job for now until her kids are old enough to understand where their mother is and why she doesn’t pay much attention or whatever. College is hard even without children, you will stay up all night doing papers and homework etc. I did one semester while my son was 9 months and I had free child care but it was still very hard for me because I had been out of school and still had mother/wife duties. I’m happy she is doing something with her life but on the same page I hope her kids don’t grow up thinking she thought her dreams were more important than them. Good luck
The Ashley, were you able to verify Ashley Salazar’s degree from a university in Texas?
She placed her child for adoption, but should still be given credit for finishing school if she really did.
Good for you! Don’t let anything get in the way of your goals!
what a great inspiration she is. Good for you
Good for her. She is extremely lucky that her mother provided free childcare during the day and absorbed the cost. Actually probably provided free housing and food as well. Most teen mom aren’t so lucky. A bit puzzled why she didn’t take the med school prereqs as part of her degree. Med school and residency with a family will be even harder than high school and undergrad. So crazy that her son will be leaving for college when she finishes residency if she becomes a specialist.
I can’t respect someone who plans a second pregnancy with her parents footing the bill. Jairo may have a job but there is no way he fully supports those kids on his paycheck with the amount of money Izabella goes through… How many pairs of $60 moccasins does a baby need?
Great for her! I wish SHE was featured on the show instead of the buttlifting, custody fighting, drug using, instagram plugging moms on TM2.
I couldn’t agree more!
GOOD FOR HER! I always liked her and thought she had a very good head on her shoulders. I love how she acknowledges her support system – she literally could not have done this without it. Also, I believe her parents are wealthy, which doesn’t hurt either! Nevertheless, kudos to her! I wish more 16 & P girls were as ambitious, and had similar opportunities.
Aww this made me smile! I’ve stopped watching Teen mom because of how terrible their lives have gone and it’s good to see someone succeed for once!
Also does Jario still look 12???
Ashley Salazar got her bachelor’s two years ago!!
She may be a skank, and crazy, but give her proper dues
I thought Ashley Salazar was the first to obtain her bachelors?
Ashley gave her child up and has that half relationship thing going on but still I’d hardly consider her a mother. She went to college like a normal kid. Still hard yes but not nearly as hard when you have kids
Or live in your parents basement, while they foot the bills and help raise your boyfriend and kids, like this girls famliy does…
At least she did something with her life and got a degree. And not pawned her kids off on her parents because she was too stressed with her tenth boyfriend like Janelle. Or dumped her kids on her ex boyfriend/baby daddy number 1’s mother like Maci. Or have at least two different baby daddies. She is with her kids father, yes she probably should a waited a little before having another but she is more put together then the girls on teen mom.
Good for her, well done
Well done to Izabella for achieving so much against all odds???? This is called WINNING!
It is quite incredible, but well deserved for her hard work and dedication, and it’s great her parents provided that support buffer to help her through this crunch time. She and Jairo must make a great team, and it seems whether he too has his own academic dreams for later in life, or is just happy being out there on the grind; he’s done what is best for his family and for Izabella to pursue her dreams now – so her win is kind of a win for them all.
This definitely puts a few 16&P/TM participants to shame; referring to those who’ve courted drama and controversy, are lazy and/or made more bad choices.
Unfortunately there will be many who would have loved to achieve the same as Izabella but didn’t have the support system to even give them a starting chance, so I am by no means putting them to shame.
Perfect! I was especially disappointed with catelynn and tyler, who had no kids and the income to prepare for their future. Good for her for being smart and mature enough to get her BA!
Absolutely; I was indeed thinking of Catelynn & Tyler as one example – admittedly I hardly follow the TMOG girls, but I struggle to know what exactly they’ve been doing the last few years?!
I feel like they kind of ‘defined’ themselves by the adoption they went through, and haven’t moved on from it except to have another baby – perhaps as a way of filling the gap in their lives left by Carly? Maybe being on TM and having that as their ‘story’ didn’t help them redefine themselves a new story and purpose, I don’t know. I can only imagine how hard it was, but they should have focused their energies on doing something productive, to do justice to the decision they made.
I think it’s partially the adoption and partially the fact that they think they are “celebrities.” I truly believe in their heads they think they are something special and have no reason to ever “work.”
Yeah, I like Catelynn and Tyler, but their attitudes toward doing something productive in the most recent season did disappoint me a little. Ty’s whole “Ugh, OMG, a job? Ugh…” attitude was just like… Idk, what happened to you guys? In the first few seasons, they were so determined to make as much of themselves as they could in the wake of the adoption, like, to prove themselves and prove that they had made a good choice for everyone involved.
But, on the other hand, holy cow they had so much working against them. They are statistical miracles just for not being druggies and crooks like their parents.
‘This definitely puts a few 16&P/TM participants to shame; referring to those who’ve courted drama and controversy, are lazy and/or made more bad choices.’
Absolutely.. Maci dropped every class she could. Jenelle is a medical ‘tech’ but did not pass the last exam (or so I read somewhere). And, Cate & Ty are too busy sitting on their ass all day eventhough they said they wanted to go college ages ago.
And yet she didn’t have that MTV money the TM girls get. Unbelievable accomplishment.
What does she mean they told her she couldn’t? Wasn’t this the rich girl who had tons of support, and used her fame to win a big gift card from Target instead of letting someone who actually could use it win it? I’m not hating but I remember her being privileged and kinda spoiled like Chelsea.
At least they’re using the support well. Some teen moms on the TeenMom franchise (do I really need to name them?) have all the support they can have but no degrees, job or career to show for it except for MTV money that will shrivel up in a few years when the franchise, inevitably, bites the dust.