Noli Indian School 2012 valedictorian Elizabeth Rios, 17, holds her daughter.
Photo by Courtesy of Elizabeth Rios
Like many high schoolers at the top of their class Elizabeth Rios takes pride in her community, plays sports and participates in student government. What makes her different than other teens is that she’s also a mother.
“I think people judged me a lot,” said Rios, a 17-year-old tribal member from the Cahuilla Band of Indians. “I didn’t want them to think of me as just a teen mom. I was more than that.”