Empowering Teen Mothers to Graduate and Achieve Their Full Potential
The odds are stacked against teen mothers. Pregnancy is the number one reason girls drop out of school. Only 38% of teen mothers graduate from high school and less than 2% graduate from college before age 30. Without a high school diploma or GED, young mothers remain trapped in a cycle of poverty with scarce resources and little hope of providing a better life for themselves and their children. The children of young parents often end up facing the same challenges and the cycle of poverty continues from generation to generation. And yet, so many of these young women didn't plan to get pregnant in their teens. But when it happens, they face not only the financial challenges but also the social stigma and shame, resulting in a population of young families that, without support, are more at risk for behavioral and mental health challenges.
Young moms are just like any other mother – they love their children and want to do right by them. But unlike most moms, teen moms are facing nearly insurmountable odds. This is where Teen Success, Inc. comes in. They meet their love and determination with support, skill building and opportunity. When young women join their program, they prioritize helping them return to and stay in school, because they know education is the key to breaking the cycle of poverty. They also help them discover who they are as people and identify what it is they want out of life. They empower them to face their challenges in pursuit of their goals. They support them in developing positive and healthy relationships. And finally, they help them hone their parenting skills. This means they can be the moms they want to be, helping their children thrive right alongside them. Through one-on-one mentorship, teen mothers receive the care and coaching they need to graduate high school, develop healthy parenting skills, and build a social-emotional fortitude to be successful. Teen Success, Inc. provides scholarships to ease the financial burden of education and a supportive community so teen mothers don't feel alone or isolated, but rather connected and loved. The two-generation approach lifts young struggling families out of poverty by helping them attain success at home and in school, for both young mothers and their children.
Of those who have completed Teen Success' programming, 93% have graduated from high school or are on track to do so, as compared to 38% of teen mothers nationally. Participants increased their parenting skills in the areas of empathy towards children, parent-child roles, and understanding of appropriate discipline. Participants report reading to their children for an average of 15 minutes daily. Additionally, 95% of participants report that the Teen Success, Inc. program meets their needs well.