"Pregnant and Proud" -- Twenty years later

Shannon Huff was 16 when she became pregnant with her first child. Now she's a mother of four.

"What I've done over the past 20 years was rough," Shannon said. "I'm nowhere near where I want to be but I know where I've been and I know where I'm going." She said she wants to get out of the "hood" and move to the country for a more relaxed life.

Shannon Huff, 37, of Roanoke, Va., kisses her grandson, Kay'Mari Barber, who was born on March 31. Huff was 16 when she became pregnant with her first child, Sharontay (Kay'Mari's mom).

Shannon Huff, 37, of Roanoke, Va., kisses her grandson, Kay'Mari Barber, who was born on March 31. Huff was 16 when she became pregnant with her first child, Sharontay (Kay'Mari's mom).

Shannon, has been store manager at Replay Games and DVD in Roanoke for three years. She said her first management job was at McDonald's about 10 years ago and she's since worked her way up.

Shannon, has been store manager at Replay Games and DVD in Roanoke for three years. She said her first management job was at McDonald's about 10 years ago and she's since worked her way up.

Andre Ingram, 4, zooms through the kitchen with a toy one morning while his mother, Shannon, gets him ready to go to daycare. Shannon is now a mother of four and a store manager at Replay Games and DVD in Roanoke. "I make it paycheck to paycheck, but I got a lot of other things in my life -- my children," she said.

Andre Ingram, 4, zooms through the kitchen with a toy one morning while his mother, Shannon, gets him ready to go to daycare. Shannon is now a mother of four and a store manager at Replay Games and DVD in Roanoke. "I make it paycheck to paycheck, but I got a lot of other things in my life -- my children," she said.

Shannon keeps a copy of the bible she read when she was incarcerated in 1998 for the possession of drugs. She said she highlighted and underlined passages she felt were meaningful. "It's powerful," Shannon said. "I refuse to let the devil win. I pray for everyone and everything." Huff said she wrote down these words to keep with her from a Buddhist Wisdom -- "If you can solve your problem, then what is the need of worrying? If you cannot solve your problem, then what is the use of worrying?"

Shannon keeps a copy of the bible she read when she was incarcerated in 1998 for the possession of drugs. She said she highlighted and underlined passages she felt were meaningful. "It's powerful," Shannon said. "I refuse to let the devil win. I pray for everyone and everything." Huff said she wrote down these words to keep with her from a Buddhist Wisdom -- "If you can solve your problem, then what is the need of worrying? If you cannot solve your problem, then what is the use of worrying?"

Shannon high-fives her son Andre before dropping him off at the Northwest Child Development Center for daycare. "I can truly tell you life is totally what you make (of) it -- the good and the bad," Shannon said.

Shannon high-fives her son Andre before dropping him off at the Northwest Child Development Center for daycare. "I can truly tell you life is totally what you make (of) it -- the good and the bad," Shannon said.

Shannon quickly folds a pile of laundry while waiting for her youngest son, Andre, to get out of bed and ready to go to daycare. Shannon said she lived the "street life" for 25 years, and started working her way up from a job at McDonald's. "You don't have to die in the streets," she said.

Shannon quickly folds a pile of laundry while waiting for her youngest son, Andre, to get out of bed and ready to go to daycare. Shannon said she lived the "street life" for 25 years, and started working her way up from a job at McDonald's. "You don't have to die in the streets," she said.

Sharontay Huff, 20, of Roanoke, kisses her newborn son Kay'Mari Barber, after getting him dressed for church at her mother's house.

Sharontay Huff, 20, of Roanoke, kisses her newborn son Kay'Mari Barber, after getting him dressed for church at her mother's house.

Cursean Austin (from left) walks his nephew Kay'Mari Barber to the car while his sister (Kay'Mari's mom) Sharontay Huff, 20, and their mom, Shannon, leave Shannon's Roanoke home on their way to Refuge Temple Church-Our Lord for Sunday church. Shannon said she lived 25 years of her life living the "street life," and faith helped her grow into the person she is now. "If I ain't known nothing about God, I wouldn't be here now," she said. "At the end of the day, I know I have my own personal relationship with God."

Cursean Austin (from left) walks his nephew Kay'Mari Barber to the car while his sister (Kay'Mari's mom) Sharontay Huff, 20, and their mom, Shannon, leave Shannon's Roanoke home on their way to Refuge Temple Church-Our Lord for Sunday church. Shannon said she lived 25 years of her life living the "street life," and faith helped her grow into the person she is now. "If I ain't known nothing about God, I wouldn't be here now," she said. "At the end of the day, I know I have my own personal relationship with God."

Shannon Huff became pregnant at 16 and is now a mother of four, with the recent addition of one grandson. Cursean Austin (from left), 16, Andre Ingram, 4, Sharontay Huff, 20, Kay'Mari Barber (who was three-weeks-old in this photo), and Calasia Austin, 11, make up Shannon's family. "I do think I'm blessed to be a single mother and have four (kids)," Huff said. 

Shannon Huff became pregnant at 16 and is now a mother of four, with the recent addition of one grandson. Cursean Austin (from left), 16, Andre Ingram, 4, Sharontay Huff, 20, Kay'Mari Barber (who was three-weeks-old in this photo), and Calasia Austin, 11, make up Shannon's family. "I do think I'm blessed to be a single mother and have four (kids)," Huff said. 

** A note: I didn't love this last photo, but during the final edit I felt it was necessary to complete the story.