Tuesday, April 29, 2014

FREE and low Cost Pregnancy Fitness Classes

Just because we are teen mamas doesn't mean we can't fully enjoy our pregnancies and have fun while keeping ourselves and our babies healthy. A new cycle of entirely FREE and affordable fitness classes are taking place in the Bronx and Harlem!

Several options to choose from:

  • A hike and community event in the park! 
  • Prenatal water exercise! 
  • Pregnant belly dancing!  
  • Pregnant Yoga! 

Click on images to enlarge 

Please let me know if you need financial assistance

Monday, April 28, 2014

Patsy Takemoto Mink Education Foundation Education Support Awards for Young Moms

Via The Young Mommy Life:
I post this information every year - please SHARE it with anyone who might need it!


In 2014, the Patsy Takemoto Mink Education Foundation will offer five Education Support Awards of up to $5000 each to assist low-income women with children who are pursuing education or training. Education Support Awards are disbursed in two separate installments over the academic year (one each semester), and may be used for direct school expenses or for living expenses while you are enrolled in an educational program. Awardees will be notified by phone or email. Shortly after recipient notification, the list of awardees will be posted on this site. (Please note: The Foundation will contact awardees only. We are not able to contact each applicant about the status of her application.)

Applicant Criteria:

*must be a woman, at least 17 years of age
*must be a mother, with minor children
*must be pursuing a vocational degree/certificate; or an associate's degree; or a first bachelor's degree; or a professional/master's/doctoral degree..
*must be enrolled in a not-for-profit, accredited institution or program during the 2014-2015 academic year.
*must be low-income (annual family income less than $20,000 for a family of 2; less than $24,000 for a family of 3; less than $28,000 for a family of 4)

Application is due August 1. Get the application here: http://www.patsyminkfoundation.org/edsupport.html

Friday, April 18, 2014

Who and What is #NoTeenShame

I am part of an amazing group of young mama who are doing work to change the way society thinks about teenage pregnancy, teenage parenting, and the way we think and carry out teenage pregnancy campaigns. 

Learn more about us!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

#NoTeenShame Thunderclap Campaign

I am part of an amazing group of former teenage mamas who have come together to create cultural change in the way society thinks of teenage parents/young parents, teenage pregnancy prevention campaigns, our children and so much more.

We have a Tumblr page that you can visit, an amazing hashtag (#NoTeenShame) that you can look through on all social media channels like Twitter and Instagram, and more.

One of our goals is to get the word out that pregnant and parenting teens and young people are capable of amazing and wonderful things, as are our children; we are doing this through a Thunder Clap campaign.

It is fairly simple to support the Thunderclap, all you do is allow it to sync with your Facebook and or Twitter and you will have supported the campaign. Once the goal is met the tweets and or post will all be posted at the same time which increases the visibility of the work of #NoTeenShame and your amazing support.

You can support the Thunder clap here or below.

#NoTeenShame Twitter Chat

Join #NoTeenShame, Tara-creator of The Young Mommy Life, and myself for a Twitter chat today! We will be discussing teenage pregnancy, teenage/young parenting, and reproductive justice on the hangtag No Teen Shame (#NoTeenShame) at 12pm EST. 

If you have not joined a twitter party before it is really easy. Simply click on the hashtag No Teen Shame (#NoTeenShame), read along, share your point of view, and be introduced to a world of support and encouragement from former teenage mothers from around the country and organizations that help support us and our families!

Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Paid Writing Opportunity via Choice USA's Student Journalism Program

The following was copy and pasted from Choice USA website. These are not my original thoughts or words. 

Choice USA, a national non-profit organization, gives emerging leaders the tools they need to network, mobilize, organize, and exchange ideas to build a youth-centered reproductive justice agenda. Working with youth and students, between the ages of 15-30, we empower the diverse, upcoming generation of leaders who promote and protect reproductive freedom both now and in the future.
Application: bitly.com/1hU1x3h
Student Journalism Team: A key role of Choice USA is to promote the voices of young people in the reproductive justice movement. As part of the Student Journalism program, students will have the opportunity to develop their voices, work on their writing, engage in social media, and participate in national social justice events. Participants will come away from this program with a large portfolio of written work, national visibility in the dialogue around reproductive justice, concrete skills in journalism, and the knowledge that they have
helped garner national attention for issues important to their campus, community and state.

  • Write 3 unique blog articles a month for ChoiceWords, Choice USA’s official blog, that are related to issues around sexual and reproductive health
  • Develop at least one op-ed to be published in an external source – university, local, national or online publication 
  • Conduct original reporting on state, local or campus policy for at least one article a semester 
  • Participate in monthly calls with the Student Journalism team and Choice USA staff to develop article ideas and work though challenges 
  • Receive high quality training and the opportunity to workshop writing with Choice USA staff 
  • Join the Choice USA membership conference in July with other student activists and go through comprehensive training on reproductive justice issues 
  • Receive in-depth journalism training with experts from other areas of the progressive movement
  • Showcase writing to a large audience and receive help promoting articles 
  • Attend and report from a national conference with the other student Journalists in the spring 
  • Stipend of $500 provided each semester 
  • Demonstrated dedication to reproductive justice and other social justice issues 
  • Strong writing skills 
  • A proven interest in writing, media, and journalism 
  • An interest in reporting on a variety of topics and a willingness to accept the challenge of writing new types of articles 
Student Journalism Program Applications due: April 13, 2014 
  • Ability to commit to a one year term
  • Willing and able to travel to Washington, D.C. for Choice USA’s journalism training and to another national conference. All travel accommodations provided by Choice USA
  • Able to commit an average of 2-3 hours a week on work for the blog
  • Must be a currently enrolled student at college or university in one of the following states: Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Ohio, or Texas  
To Apply: By April 13, send completed application (below) and 2 writing samples via e-mail to klonden@choiceusa.org. Top candidates will be asked to do short telephone interviews April 14-25. Student Journalists will be selected by May 2
Application: bitly.com/1hU1x3h

Supporting Teen Parents IS Preventing Teenage Pregnancy

I have been trying to write an article about the importance of the work which seeks to prevent teenage pregnancy also including support for pregnant and parenting teens. Without supporting us now society is failing two generations at once and continuing to make the statistics that we and our families face "true."

My latest on RH Reality Check seeks to further expand on this.

Mainstream teenage pregnancy prevention frameworks are one-sided and ineffective in preventing unintended pregnancies. While the rate of teenage pregnancies in the United States is currently at one of the lowest points in the last three decades, it is still one of the highest among industrialized nations, and the rate of unintended pregnancies among young adults between the ages of 20 and 25 is growing. With the majority of funds to prevent teenage pregnancy being spent on programs that use a scare tactic and or hard-lined approach, it’s time to consider what investing in the present and future of pregnant and parenting teens might do to disrupt the cycle of poverty and ensure stronger families.

While large organizations and local governments believe that preventing teenage pregnancy is achievable through expensive public service campaigns like New York City’s controversial $400,000 public service campaign, which do not lend themselves to quantifiable data regarding their success, these groups are failing to realize that supporting teenage parents and their families would go a long way in preventing teenage pregnancy now and in the future—such as by helping them to stay in school and complete their education, as well as access to safe, quality, and affordable day care services, health services, housing, career readiness services, and more.

One of the most commonly correlated statements about teenage pregnancy is that it leads to poverty. Although this statement has been disproven—it is poverty that is more likely to lead to teenage pregnancy—efforts that use outdated prevention frameworks and messaging prevail, often with the added impact of shaming young mothers. The reality is that poverty leads to poverty and focusing on systems of support that unshackle people from an impoverished destiny will have a major impact regardless of how young they have children.

Read the rest here.

Is support also prevention?

Let me know what you think below or on Twitter.