Teen Dad Puts Dreams on Hold for Family

"I could cook for the rest of my life and make $12 an hour as long as I know my son and my fiancee or future wife are happy. Their happiness to me means more than mine."

What gets Jeremy through those long shifts -- and any extra he can pick up on the weekend -- is thinking about his cherished time with Carter.

"My favorite part of the day is the intermission between school and work because then I get to spend time with my son," he said. "See him grow more. Learn more things. Being a teen parent, you're still being introduced to the adult world, so you're learning new things as well."

But even with that added responsibility, Jeremy and Aliki still can't help wanting to be teenagers. The tension in the house heats up every Wednesday when Jeremy is off from work and wants to go to the Haverhill YMCA to practice his martial arts flipping.

It's not nearly as easy for Aliki to just go off and have fun. "He does get to go do flips. I mean, when I go out with my friends to the mall, the baby always goes with me," she said. "Before I go out somewhere, I have to pack up a diaper bag, make sure everything's in there, not just bottles and formula. I can't just pack up the thing and say, 'Hey, I'm going out.'"

Jeremy argues that flipping is the one thing in his life that keeps him focused and balanced. "It helps me clear my head. So I get aggravated when they say I can't go flip because that's a week I go without a clear mind," he said.

Keeping the Family Together, One Way or Another

Over the past year, ABC News followed Jeremy through his highs and lows. In March, the pressure became too much and he stopped going to school. Two months later, he and Aliki ended their relationship.

Jeremy tries not to place the blame on himself or Aliki. "We've both had our fair share of stress, mine being work, school and hers being school and home," he said. "I mean, staying home and taking care of the baby can be very stressful, but what I deal with at work can be, too. So I can't really say it's harder on either of us, but she took it better than I did."

Surprisingly, even though Jeremy is no longer with Aliki, he had decided to honor his commitment to Carter and remain living with Aliki and her family. He says while he may have failed in school and in love, his bond with his son will never be broken. That's who he wants to make most proud, and he's afraid he's already let his son down.

"It's not gonna feel good for him when he's older, saying his dad never succeeded and graduated on time and whatnot. It just feels kinda bad," Jeremy said.

With all the hope of a young man who's taken some falls, but hasn't given up, Jeremy told "Primetime," "Losing Aliki has made me realize what I wanted in life, what I needed to do. How I needed to act to be a good father and potentially a good husband, but I hope that I can fix the situation, repair everything with Aliki. But if not, then I'll just try to make her happy however I can."

Despite their breakup, Aliki has nothing but praise for Jeremy's skills as a father.

"There's one thing I can say about Jeremy. He might not be the best student ever, and he might not apply himself, but he's a damn good father," she said. "And that's why he does everything he does. He just wants to see Carter growing up with nothing but the best."

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