Monday, August 17, 2015

The False Dichotomy Between Young Parenthood and Success by Natasha Vianna via Medium

Natasha is a teen mom, amazing person, and reproductive justice advocate. She recently wrote a piece titled "The False Dichotomy Between Young Parenthood and Success" below is one of my favorite parts. 

"When I became a teen mother, I decided to see my obstacles as temporary adversities rather than allowing it to define my future, my daughter’s future, and who I was. I began to look more critically and analytically at my surroundings, my history, and my family’s history only to realize that my life may have very well been the same today regardless of parenting status. Many adults blamed my new challenges and overwhelming stress on my growing belly; a common regurgitation of morals and values set forth by those leading privileged lives. Identifying the parts of my life I wanted to change gave me strength to continue and my first task was separating teen pregnancy prevention from unplanned pregnancy prevention.

The truth is: addressing teen pregnancy needs to be radically changed to focus on preventing unplanned pregnancies because not all young parents’ pregnancies are unplanned. Whether planned or unplanned, shaming teen moms, vilifying them and setting them on a path to failure does nothing to help, it simply makes their lives even harder than it already is – to their own detriment and that of their child. Society is shaming them for the socioeconomic issues many were born into and shaming them for their background, cultures, decisions, and everything that pushes them away from common approval. If this is not unfair, I don’t know what is. Instead of stigmatizing teen parents, we must recognize all young people are entitled to make decisions about their own reproductive health – whether we agree with their decisions or not." 

Please do yourself a favor and read the rest of the piece here. 

Friday, August 14, 2015

Teen mom and serial entrepreneur



Tran Wills is a bad ass (former) teen mom. She has started several businesses all with her family by her side. Some have been financially successful and others have not. The one thing that has remained  constant is the unapologetic nature she came into after becoming in a teen mom.
"When you’re a young mom, people look at you like you have no worth. We wanted to prove to everyone we weren’t going to be like that. I’m doing this for my kids. If it weren’t for them, I’d probably be working a job that I hate." 

This carried over into the ways she showed up for business meetings with prospective clients, funders, and partners.
"A lot of people were awesome about it, and some were questioning—like, are you a professional or not? But I said, 'If you want to work with me, this is what it is.'" 

Being a mother, business owner, creative, wife, and individual is A LOT of work but she has found a way that makes it less stressful for her.
"When I live day by day, I can be better prepared for when shit hits the fan. A kid will be sick, and something will go wrong at the store."

How does she think her children feel about her?
"I think they are super proud and super inspired"

Read the complete interview here
You can check out Tran's website here
Follow Tran on Twitter here. 

Teen mom unlawfully deported

Fleeing an abusive husband, dealing with the stress of parenting in an abusive situation, and looking for a better and safer life for her and her son; thats where Lilian was when she came to United States seeking help and a safer place to raise her son.

Unfortunately, what she got was imprisoned with her son for months, chained, forced to strip, and had her child taken away from her after she tried taking her own life.

This is Lilian's story.
A story too many immigrant and teen mom face.

Monday, August 10, 2015

@NLIRH is looking to pay and train 2-3 young parents in NYC

The National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health is seeking 2-3 young parents under the age of 25 who live in New York City to meet with City Council staff and share their expertise during a briefing designed to learn about the issues impacting young families. NLIRH will provide food, child care, training and transportation at no cost to each participant. Each participant will receive a small honorarium (pay).


National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health is one of the many organizations I have worked for and I can honestly the media trainings, activist trainings, and over all family love and support I have gotten from them is amazing. 

I encourage you to sign up for this opportunity that offers a small paycheck. 

Application here.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Tri State area Pregnant and Parenting Teen Family Portrait Shoot

I am very very excited for this project.
After reading my #NoTeenShame sister's post about how she realizes that there are very little to no photos of her as a pregnant and parenting teen I started thinking about how true that was for me too.

Consuela shares how photo albums are usually meant for happy and proud occasions,
"My family has photo album after photo album of memories that we wanted to remember, but there was so much shame and embarrassment about my pregnancy that we didn’t pull out the Polaroid to memorialize my journey." 

She goes on to expand and say,
"As I think back to that time in my life I am sad that I don’t have pictures to remember my first pregnancy. It wasn’t okay for me to say cheese for pictures and be happy about being pregnant. I was embarrassed when people would stare at me in public… a few times strangers would be so rude with their stares and comments that I would be pissed enough to say “fuck you”, but most of the time I was just ashamed."

I cried reading Consuela's words because they were my reality too. After I was done crying I deiced to do something to change this for other pregnant and parenting teens. So I organized this event for them to be happy and document in photos the beauty of their pregnancy and their early parenting journey.

If you are a pregnant and or parenting teen in the Tri-State area please fill out this interest form. If you know a pregnant and or parenting young person that you think would be interested in this event please forward the form to them.

Together we can give these teen families quality photos that they can be happy about and look back at years from now.

You can send the link too: https://docs.google.com/a/teenmomnyc.com/forms/d/10LaY5jFBT1GgzJzewivM0C0rxPc37BHhyc1HmcaWk7I/viewform

Thursday, July 2, 2015

A Teen Mom Turned Designer Makes Bikinis To Hide Pregnancy Scars

At 16 years old I looked at my body in the mirror and saw it covered with stretch marks and a body I was not familiar with. I was about 110 pounds before becoming pregnant, about 200 pounds when I gave birth, and I have no idea how much I weighed after giving birth (mostly because I wasn't really worried about my weight but more so other things).

"I'm never wearing a bikini again" I told myself. But that was it. I didn't think about starting my own bathing suit line but another teen mom did.

Altrichia Cook, now 28, felt really discouraged when she was looking for a high waisted bathing suit that would cover up pregnancy related scarring so she started her own line of swimwear.

You can follow her on Instagram, check out her website,  and order a swimsuit via email.

One of the most notable people who have worn her designs is Nicki Minaj!

A photo posted by Cosmopolitan (@cosmopolitan) on

Do not give up on your dreams and aspirations! You could be making swimsuits for celebs one day :) 


Read more about her story via Buzzfeed