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With the odds stacked against her as a teen mom, Lincoln-West grad finds a career path and hope for the future

Posted at 12:33 PM, Aug 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-05 12:33:55-04

CLEVELAND — It was 2016 and 14-year-old Sadie Pribanic learned she was pregnant. That news turned her world upside and life as she knew it wouldn’t be the same.

With a baby on the way, Pribanic switched to online classes for her freshman year of high school. As a new mom, juggling a newborn and the obligation of school made it hard for her to focus. Late nights and early mornings with her daughter Romalynn made it difficult to excel in something she was good at, and that was school. On top of all that, she was suffering from anxiety and depression.

When she saw her grades plunge from As and Bs to Ds and Fs, she knew she had to get back on track so when her daughter turned 1, she headed to Max Hayes High School for a fair to chose the school she would attend in the fall.

Almost immediately, the Lincoln-West School of Science and Health— the only school in the country inside of a hospital— caught her eye.

As someone who had always wanted to pursue a career in nursing, attending Lincoln-West would be the next step to fulfilling a dream.

The high school, which was about 12 blocks from her home on Lorain Avenue, offered training in phlebotomy, which to her was a way to get her feet wet in the medical field.

Over the course of her time at Lincoln-West, Pribanic said it was the teachers, the nurses who taught her STNA classes and oversaw her internship in nursing and the MetroHealth team that worked with her school, who contributed to her success today.

“They gave me a sense of hope,” Sadie said. “They told me I could go above and beyond no matter what my situation was. They knew I was a good student and I could do whatever I put my mind to.”

And her teachers and MetroHealth’s nursing educators were right.

She was elected class president her senior year. At the time of her graduation on June 22, 2021, she was awarded a four-year scholarship to Ursuline College that covers nearly all of her books and tuition.

She starts on Aug. 21 where she will major in nursing and minor in art therapy.

She has big goals and hopes to earn a bachelor’s degree and work a few years before going back to become an Advanced Practice Nurse Practitioner in pediatrics.

“What really made it worth all of it was that nobody told me that I couldn’t do anything. They told me I could go above and beyond no matter what my situation was," she said. "That support is what got me through.”

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