Monday, June 30, 2014

I'm Part of the 2% But I'm Not All That Proud

The lives of teenage parents are framed as only statistics. Society, researchers,  family,  friends, and sometimes ourselves are fixated on the statistics that are presented as the blueprint for our lives.
I know that I used to live my life in a cycle of purposefully "defying stereotypes" I thought defying these stereotypes would provide me with an overwhelming amount of joy and " I told you so" pride. 

However, if I'm being perfectly honest, when I graduated from college I didn't feel this way at all. Yes, I was proud, excited, joyful, and relieved but as the questions of how my degree "made me different from other teen moms" started being asked I became increasing uncomfortable and sad.
One of the most heard statistic about teenage mothers is about only 50% of us graduate high school and of that approximate 50% only 2% of us will obtain a college degree before the age of 30.

After coming down from the natural high my college graduation provided me with I began to think about this "elite" group of stereotype defying teen moms I had become part of, The 2%.As I thought about it more, the more I realize this 2% group I am now a part of has several different stories to tell.

To me the 2% is reflective of the lack of help, resources,  support, and information teenage mother recieve in order to both complete high school and obtain higher education in the form of a college degree. This 2% tells me that of the millions of teenage mothers out there only 2% of us who want to obtain a college degree (not everyone aspires for college and that's fine) get the adequate help we need and want to do it. 

Between the approximate 50% of teen mom high school graduates and 2% of teen mom college graduates 48% of us are left without a way to bridge the gap between high school graduate and college gradate. 

Sure, I "defied" a stereotype but I'm more interested in providing and finding  answers as to why so few teenage mothers complete our education and what needs to be done to help increase these statistics.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Help Support The Young Mommy Life Scholarship Fund

The Young Mommy Life is going to revive its scholarship fund but needs some help from us to be able to do it.  The young Mommy aka Tara has started a TeeSpring campaign to raise funds with some wonderful shirts available for purchase.

From the TeeSpring Campaign page,
"Maya Angelou. Chaka Khan. Ann Dunham (President Obama's mother). Aretha Franklin. All young moms, all women who have made an extraordinary mark on the world. Purchase one for yourself or for a young mom in your life as a reminder that no matter how old you are when you become a parent, you are capable of doing great things. 50% of the proceeds from this sale will go toward the YML Scholarship Fund! "
You can learn more about the fundraising campaign which will end JULY  3rd on the YML blog and find the shirts and link to purchase here.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Monday Motivation: Changing the Meaning of Teenage Motherhood: Natasha Vianna at TEDxRoxburyWomen

Natasha Vianna is a super awesome fellow teen and young parent advocate and member of #NoTeenShame. She had her daughter in her teens and like many has used her personal experiences as a way to advocate for many.

Last year Natasha shared that she would be delivering a TEDTalk and I think I freaked out a little bit.
I was executed that somebody else I know, who is also a former teen mom, and helped teenage parents in her everyday work would be delivering a TEDTalk.

During her talk Natasha describes how her upbringing, family, and personal experiences as a young woman and teenage mother have all played a major part in the person she is today.

You can follow Natasha on Twitter at @NatashaVianna.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Job Supporting Teen Moms in New York

Job Available in Poughkeepsie, NY:
Program Assistant/Case Manager for the Teen Parenting Program FT/PT (Poughkeepsie, NY) Compensation: To be determined non-profit organization Program Assistant/Case Manager for the Teen Parenting Program FT/PT

Availability: Immediately
Requirements: Bachelor's degree or High School diploma with some college and 2 years of relevant experience.

Candidate must be proficient in Microsoft Office and use of internet for research and outreach purposes, with exceptional organization skills. We are looking for a caring, non-judgemental, professional approach to working with the population. Current, clean license and reliable transportation is also required. Position requires use of own car (mileage reimbursement provided) for client home visits throughout county, facilitation of parenting classes and information and data entry management.

 Please send resumes by email to Diane Labenski or faxed to 845-454-0129