Brenda Ann Kenneally’s photo essay, “Upstate Girls,” documents the coming of age of five troubled young women in Troy, N.Y. It is a decidedly unromantic view of poverty, dysfunction and teen pregnancy.
Kayla, at 16, with her 2-year-son, D`Anthony.
Kayla and James watching a movie after Kayla returned from an alternative high school for young mothers.
Kayla and her mother Deborah, at the beginning of their work shifts.
Kayla and James.
Kaylas son, D`Anthony, just before his third birthday.
Kayla, at 18 with her boyfriend.
Dana became pregnant at 18 by her first serious boyfriend. The couple planned on raising the child until her boyfriend was sentended to two years in jail for breaking and entering. Dana put the child up for adoption.
Dana, now 20, and Ali on their wedding day. She gave birth six weeks later to her second child.
Dana just before taking her baby home.
Dana, Ali and Ali`s daughter at bedtime prayers on the babys first night home.
Staci, Dana`s sister.
Dana`s sister, Jessica, on her 22nd bthday. A friend gave her pellet guns.
Lorraine, 34, med with her four children into a co-workers apartment after being evicted for not paying rent. She and the co-workers brother became a couple.
Lorraines daughter Kattyn on eviction day.
Later, Lorraines family moved in with a friends already crowded household of six.
Deana has seven children, fathered by three dfferent men. Four of the children live with her.
Deanas two youngest daughters wait outside for her to finish her shift at a gas station minimart. Half of what she makes goes to the court for child support.
Deana comes to see her oldest daugher, Valerie, off to her fiances sophomore prom. Valerie, 15, was raised by Deana`s mother and calls both women Mom. Valerie is the same age as her mother when she was married.