After Getting Pregnant, Teen Promised Parents She’d Keep Going to School. She Did – and Just Graduated

It was a rocky road to her high school graduation at times, but Fabiola Solis Cisneros and her family got there together

<p>Bree Buckley GSP Studio</p> Fabiola Solis Cisneros and son Xavier, who turns 2 in December

Bree Buckley GSP Studio

Fabiola Solis Cisneros and son Xavier, who turns 2 in December

On Thursday, June 6, Fabiola Solis Cisneros walked across the Coalinga High School stage, making good on a promise she made to her family.

In 2022, Solis Cisneros, now 18, was almost done with her sophomore year when she discovered she was pregnant. She tells PEOPLE it was a rocky road for her and her dad, who was initially angry and disappointed in her.

But her resolve to continue her education after the birth of her son Xavier helped pave the way for reconciliation. And it doesn’t hurt that when her father picked her up from the hospital and saw his grandson for the first time he felt an instant connection. "It was love at first sight," she says.

<p>courtesy Fabiola Solis Cisneros</p> Love at first sight - Fabiola Solis Cisneros dad with his new grandson

courtesy Fabiola Solis Cisneros

Love at first sight - Fabiola Solis Cisneros dad with his new grandson

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When she first found out she was pregnant, Solis Cisneros admits she “wasn’t in the best mental state.”

“I just felt so alone,” she says.

But her three older siblings rallied around her. They were with her when she took the home pregnancy test and gave her both opinions and support. She says she considered her options, but ultimately decided she wanted to keep her baby. Still, the prospect of telling her parents was daunting.

“I don’t know if you know Mexican parents, but this was not good,” says Solis Cisneros. “We were nervous about how our mom would react, but we were all scared to death of my dad.”

<p>courtesy Fabiola Solis Cisneros</p> From left, Fabiola Solis Cisneros, son Xavier, sister Janette with daughter Zeona, sister Silvia and daughter Jenny and sister Imelda

courtesy Fabiola Solis Cisneros

From left, Fabiola Solis Cisneros, son Xavier, sister Janette with daughter Zeona, sister Silvia and daughter Jenny and sister Imelda

The next morning, she summoned the courage to tell him, and it did not go well.

Although at one point, the threat of being kicked out of the house was raised, she says that "in the end, he didn’t want me to struggle by myself and let me stay."

Related: Mom and Daughter Celebrate Graduating Together from Same University: 'It Has Brought Us Closer'

One thing that helped smooth over the tension in the household was Solis Cisneros’ promise to her parents that she would stay in school and graduate with her class. She says her dad never got a “proper education” and he always pushed his daughters to do well in school so they would be able to succeed in life.

“He told my mom that if I wanted him to support me, I had to keep studying and going to school,” Solis Cisneros says. “That gave me a motivation to continue with my studies and not stop.”

Sure enough, she says she didn't stop going to school "until a week before my due date."

<p>courtesy Fabiola Solis Cisneros</p> Xavier with his grandmother

courtesy Fabiola Solis Cisneros

Xavier with his grandmother

What gave her strength through it all was knowing she wasn’t alone.

"I had everyone’s support, from the father of my baby, to my sisters, to my mom and some of my teachers,” the mom says. “I was never alone throughout my pregnancy.”

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Math teacher Korie Love told local ABC affiliate KFSN-TV that once she found out Fabiola was pregnant, she asked how she could help her.

“She really didn’t want any special treatment,” Love said. “She would come in, do her work. Very self-driven.”

Still, those "little checkups" from her teacher "made me feel important,” Solis Cisneros tells PEOPLE. She adds, “I didn't feel as down anymore."

Related: Michigan Mom Tucks 10-Day-Old Daughter Inside Gown While Graduating College: 'Kept Her with Me' 

When it came time for baby Xavier to make his appearance on Dec. 18, 2022, her dad drove her to the hospital.

“He was nervous about me having the baby because it’s a painful process," she says. "He gave me a hug and told me to be safe and said a little prayer for me."

<p>courtesy Fabiola Solis Cisneros</p> Fabiola Solis Cisneros and Xavier

courtesy Fabiola Solis Cisneros

Fabiola Solis Cisneros and Xavier

After Xavier was born, her relationship with her dad improved dramatically — but initially, she stumbled when it came to her studies. She tried doing independent study, but realized it wasn’t working for her. Fortunately, her mom agreed to care for the baby so Solis Cisneros could return to in-person classes, which turned everything around.

“I felt like I could start planning for a better future,” she says. “I started getting better grades, my dad actually started talking to me. And then I got a part time job, so I was accomplishing my goals.”

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As for the future, Solis Cisneros says she plans to start college in the fall — and hopes to use her studies to help pay it forward.

“I’m debating on either psychology or nursing,” Solis Cisneros says. “I’d like to work in the schools to help others struggling and let them know they can still be successful."

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