BENEFITING: ADVOCATES FOR ADOLESCENT MOTHERS
Everybody needs someone and we need you!
Advocates for Adolescent Mothers is a budding social enterprise with a very promising approach toward alleviating poverty among families headed by young parents. Any effective approach toward poverty reduction must address young mothers and their children.
Often times, young mothers are unfairly judged, and many people choose not to offer support to these young women, because they feel that these young women are getting what they deserve. The fact of the matter is that many young mothers suffered exposure to various forms of trauma while growing up, which can be directly correlated to early childbearing. Check out these alarming statistics:
* 60% of teen moms were victims of child sexual abuse.
* 33% of teen moms do not graduate high school before the age of 22.
* Less than 2% of teen moms earn a college degree before the age of 30.
* 25% of teen moms become pregnant again within 2 years.
* A 2005 study revealed a point-in-time estimate of nearly 2000 children of
homeless youth in Illinois.
* Children of homeless teen moms are 3 times more likely to experience
homelessness themselves more than once as adults.
Certainly, these young mothers and their children, victims of their families' circumstances, deserve to receive support, guidance, and be shown compassion.
Advocates for Adolescent Mothers believes that a young mom is not doomed to failure because she had a child at an early age. Our founder and president is a testament of this belief. Lillian Harris was born and raised in poverty, exposed to domestic violence, and experienced homelessness multiple times, yet she went on to earn bachelor's and master's degrees. During her homeless experiences while pursuing her college degree, she wished there was a program that existed that would offer her support as she strived to create a better future for herself and her son. The absence of such a program compelled her to create Advocates for Adolescent Mothers.
Advocates for Adolescent Mothers current programs include our Educational Empowerment Grant Initiative through which we provide a grant and mentoring to young moms in college and our Holiday Drive, which provides toys and outerwear to homeless and underprivileged young moms and children at Christmas. We also advocate for young parents through our research, such as our Teen Parent Stable Housing Study. In the future we will provide supportive housing to homeless young moms and their children.
Can't you see why we need you? Your support will bring us closer to accomplishing our antipoverty mission.
Let us be your Valentine and offer a meaningful gift on this day designed to share love.
Lillian S. Harris
Founder and President
Advocates for Adolescent Mothers