High school senior sacrifices senior year for social experiment
Gaby Rodriguez is a 17 year-old senior at Toppenish High School in Washington. She has a 3.8 GPA and plans to attend college and study social work or sociology in the fall. Seniors are required to complete a project approved by the school. Gaby decided to study stereotypes and what it would be like to be a pregnant teenager.
Few people knew of the experiment. Gaby’s mother at first thought the idea was crazy, but decided to back her up. Gaby’s boyfriend of three years was a reluctant participant not wanting any trouble with Gaby’s brothers. Gaby’s six siblings weren’t told or her boyfriend’s parents. The school principal was aware of the project and two counselors from a local hospital were mentors. She spent 6 1/2 months of her senior year pretending to be pregnant. Gaby titled her study “Stereotypes, Rumors and Statistics.”
Gaby started wearing baggy sweaters and sweat shirts in the first few months. After spring break in 2011, she wore a small cushion she made around her belly. She told her classmates she was due in July, 2011.
The reaction to her experiment has taken Gaby by surprise. She has received requests for interviews from as far away as London. She plans to make a few appearances on the talk-show circuit. Read here for more about her instant celebrity.