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.

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