Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Unlimited Weekly Metro Card Giveaway for teen parents in NYC

The MTA is raising fares again.
AGAIN. 

It's outrageous and makes getting around the city even more inaccessible for people who need it. 

About a month ago I remembered that not too long ago Leilani and I would walk for blocks and blocks because I didn't have enough money on my metro card to swipe us to get to where we were going AND a swipe to get home. 


As I walked down a stretch of blocks today I realized that I was walking these extra blocks by choice. A few short years ago Leilani and I were walking them out of necessity because I only had one more swipe left on my card.
I'm talking BLOCKS sometimes 30 or more.

The truth is that not I am very fortunate to no longer HAVE to do this and realized that while I could get mad and do nothing that I would instead get mad and do something about it. 


From now until September I will be giving away ONE unlimited weekly metro card a month to a mother 20 and younger in need of one. 

In order to qualify:
  • You need to be 20 and younger 
  • A parent 
  • Live in one of the 5 boroughs 
  • Be able to meet up in person to receive the metro card
  • Fill out the form / Bit.ly/TMNYCMetrocard

If you would like to help donate so more metro cards can be given away please fill out this form. 



Monday, March 13, 2017

This Young Moms Gorgeous Baby Photos Remind Us Embrace Young Motherhood

Photos of early times in Leilani's life and my pregnancy don't exist too much for a variety of reasons but mostly because of the shame and stigma surrounding my pregnancy and parenting at 15 years old. For this very reason I LOVE how elaborate and creative teen mama, Isabel Moutran, is with these monthly photoshoots of her beautiful baby girl.

Seeing this young mama take amazing and gorgeous photos and memories of her daughter makes me so happy especially because as teen/young moms we are meant to feel ashamed of our motherhood.

With over 5K followers on Instagram it's easy to see why so many people follow this creative and loving young family. 


From beautiful maternity photos


To gorgeous newborn photos

A post shared by Bella Moutran (@bella_moutran) on

 I mean look at this!

A post shared by Bella Moutran (@bella_moutran) on

LOOK!



According to an interview with Buzzfeed the gorgeous photos can take a long time to plan since some of the props are handmade by mom.

You can follow this mama on Instagram here. 

Remember! Your pregnancy and parenting are amazing, gorgeous, and magical despite what anyone tells you. 

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Foster Care Youth Essay Contest

Do you know or are you a young person in foster care in New York City? If so, this essay contest which awards a MONEY prize might be of interest to you/them.
"Five Grand Prize winners will receive $1,000 each, and 10 additional winners will receive prizes of $500 to $700 each."
In order to enter you must:


  • Be nominated by an adult (if you would like to be nominated this is your chance to ask an adult in your life to nominate you!)  
  • Any current or former foster youth in the New York City foster care system who was born in 1996 or later. People born before 1996 are not eligible
  • write two essays


Deadline: March 3, 2017
Your complete entry, including the entry form, two essays, and adult recommendation letter, must be postmarked by March 3, 2017


For more information and necessary forms check out the official announcement page for the essay contest here and here



Monday, January 30, 2017

CUNY Childcare Centers for Students

Going to school as a parent is HARD and almost impossible when you do not have any leads on childcare. Thankfully some CUNY schools offer onsite childcare facilities for students who are enrolled and taking classes. 

While I was at Baruch I used the onsite childcare for a few weeks while I worked on a long term solution for Leilani. 

Below are all the current CUNY schools that offer childcare facilities on or near the campus so that going to school while parenting is a little less hard and impossible.

Please be advised that some charge a fee, all have different age requirements, and all have different hours. Feel free to use the image below to kick off your search. 
Hopefully the information below can help you make a decision about where and what CUNY school you want to go to. 

Click to enlarge
Feel free to share the image to help others. 

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Seleni teen parent expo in New York City

Seleni is having another teen parent expo and I would love to see you there. 
I am going and will be speaking about my life and experiences. 

Seleni is a great organization doing amazing work for pregnant and parenting young people here in New York City. Come learn, find community, and hang out! 

Childcare, food, and some giveaway are included! 
Click to enlarge

Monday, October 31, 2016

How a Silicon Valley Techie is changing the way we talk about pregnant and parenting teens

Natasha is a great friend of mine and someone I am so happy to know.

The feature article about her via BizJournal.com's Biz Women section speaks so much truth to power and mirrors so many of the stories I am told by other young pregnant and expecting parents.

Some of my favorite parts include her talking about how stereotypes elders told her about herself influenced how she felt about herself

Her [] guidance counselor refused to help her apply for colleges because, as Vianna was told, it was going to be a miracle if she graduated high school.“In reality, she was just lowering my expectations for myself,” Vianna said. “There was part of me that was like, ‘I know this is wrong.’ But another part of me was like, ‘But so many adults are telling me this — what if they’re right?’”

But once she started connection with other teen parents her thoughts about herself changed, 

When she started to connect with other teen moms — none of whom matched the stereotype she’d been sold as her future — she realized they weren’t.
“It’s not actually us that’s the problem,” Vianna said.
She also states something I have felt for a long time,

 "I would absolutely love if we just eliminated that term [teen pregnancy prevention] and that framework and worked on positive youth development instead." 
And while she mostly felt shame for having her daughter as a teen now Natasha feels a different way,

“I love being a mother,” she said. “It’s one of the things that I’m most proud of, and to think that 10 years ago I was ashamed to tell anyone and now it’s the first thing I want to talk about, it’s quite the change for me.”

You can read the whole feature here.