A new qualitative report shows that the two teen parent programs we fund help students to become more confident, independent, and capable of completing their education and pursuing careers.
For over a decade, we’ve funded counseling and education programs for teen parents at Crossroads High School in Concord. The YMCA of the East Bay provides similar services for teen parents in West County. The new report highlights interviews conducted with students and staff at Crossroads and Richmond High School, and provides an overview of teens’ challenges and successes.
Both teens and staff members reported that financial stress is the most common challenge teens face. Their dire financial situation is further complicated by social stressors and unhealthy environments. As one young mother said:
I wake up in the morning at 5:00 a.m. I take care of my baby, attend to her basic needs as well as mine. I wait for a bus to get to school. Then, after school I drop my child with a friend so that she can take care of him, then go to work, and finish work at 10:30 p.m. I get home, give my baby and myself a shower and sleep at 2 a.m. as my baby is cranky being away from me. I get up again at 5:00 a.m. This is my routine daily. I feel so tired all the time.
After serving as a case manager – and lifeline – for thousands of teen parents in West County, the Y Team’s Sue Dixon is retiring. First 5 Contra Costa has funded the YMCA of the East Bay to provide case management and counseling to pregnant and parenting teens for the last decade. During this time, Sue has served young mothers with a fierce combination of tenacity and compassion. Before Sue retires, she took the time to share some of her expertise about teen mothers. Thank you Sue, and good luck! Continue reading