KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Pregnant teens and teen parents got a little extra help Tuesday.
The Teaching Teens Outstanding Parenting Skills (T-TOPS) program returned for its 12th year, helping educate young parents about rearing children and helping them get their high school diplomas.
Marshal Pinsly of Anderson County, who is still in high school, is about to be a dad for the first time.
"I want to be a good father for my kid and everything, and I just want to learn everything about being a good father," he said. "There's a lot more than what I realized."
One of the goals of T-TOPS is to help prepare teen parents.
"The purpose is to provide tools and skills and knowledge to teens that are parents or pregnant. Our goal is to get them to graduate high school and then also to not repeat a pregnancy," explained T-TOPS co-chair Lynsey Stubbs.
Student parents even got to hear from a woman who went through the same thing they are.
"I was a teen mother at the age of 14 and I understand all of the hardships and all of the things that young people who are parents have to endure and have to overcome. It's important to me to give back, because someone helped me," explained keynote speaker and former teen mom Latisha Reeves.
Pinsly said he still has a lot to do before his baby is due on March 12.
"I'm learning about how the brain develops and all the things you can do with it and things like that, how you can teach your kid and everything," he said.
This year, teens from Knox, Anderson, Monroe, Roane and Sevier Counties were invited to the event. 71 teens attended with
and 80 adults like guidance counselors, school nurses and others on hand to help with the event.
KAPPI put on the event. For more information on the organization, visit their new website.