Cleveland, OH,
08:23 AM

Lincoln-West Graduate Finds a Career and Hope Amid Teen Pregnancy, Mental Health Battle

Damien Johnson, Sadie Pribanic and their daughter, Row

At the young age of 14, Sadie Pribanic was told her life was over. In December of 2016, not only was she suffering from anxiety and depression, but she also learned she was pregnant.

A baby on the way meant Sadie would take her freshman year classes online, without her classmates, alone at home, years before COVID-19 made that the norm. But it was hard to focus on school with Row, her nickname for Romalynn, her baby girl, who kept her up at night, who needed her all day long, who had her thinking school was something extra, not something she needed to do.

Until Sadie’s report card arrived. And she saw that her As and Bs had plunged to Ds and Fs.

She realized she had to get back to herself and turn her life around.

That summer, when Row was about to turn 1, Sadie headed to Max Hayes for a high school fair to choose the school she would attend that fall. The booth for the Lincoln-West School of Science & Health caught her eye.

She’d always wanted to be a nurse. And the high school inside MetroHealth offered training in phlebotomy. Sadie saw learning to draw blood as her first step to becoming a nurse. Even better, the school was a dozen blocks from her home off Lorain Avenue.

Weeks later, Sadie was sitting in classes at Lincoln-West, the first school in the country inside of a hospital. And she loved it.

It wasn’t just the MetroHealth doctors and nurses who came to her classes to talk about the care they provided or the way she could talk to fellow students about the careers they wanted in health care or that she was inducted into the National Honor Society her junior year or selected for the State Tested Nursing Assistant training program her senior year.

It was the people who surrounded her: the teachers at Lincoln-West, the nurses who taught her STNA classes and oversaw her internship in nursing, the MetroHealth team that worked with students at the high school.

People like Katrina Kelley, MetroHealth’s manager of Nursing Education and Professional Development.

“They gave me a sense of hope,” Sadie says. “They told me I could go above and beyond no matter what my situation was. They knew I was a good student and I could do whatever I put my mind to.”

They were right.

Her senior year, Sadie’s fellow students elected her class president. And by graduation day, June 22, 2021, she had a four-year scholarship to Ursuline College that covers nearly all her tuition and books.

Sadie starts there on August 21. She’ll major in nursing and minor in art therapy.

Her goal is to earn a bachelor’s degree, work for a few years then go back to school to become an Advanced Practice Nurse Practitioner in pediatrics.

“What really made it worth all of it was that nobody told me that I couldn’t do anything. They told me I could go above and beyond no matter what my situation was.

“That support,” Sadie says, “is what got me through.”

About The MetroHealth System

Founded in 1837, MetroHealth is leading the way to a healthier you and a healthier community through service, teaching, discovery, and teamwork. Cuyahoga County’s public, safety-net hospital system, MetroHealth meets people where they are, providing care through four hospitals, four emergency departments, and more than 20 health centers and 40 additional sites. Each day, our 8,000 employees focus on providing our community with equitable health care–through patient-focused research, access to care, and support services–that seeks to eradicate health disparities rooted in systematic barriers. For more information, visit