“My favorite thing about Debra is that she wants to make sure I graduate. She gives me advice, gives me good ideas, and makes sure I stay on track. Debra always has a smile on her face. One word I would use to describe her: caring.”
These are the powerful words of a local teenage mom thanking her mentor Debra for helping her finish high school and build a good future for herself and her child.
It’s part of the “Caps & Cribs” Teen Mom Mentoring Program run by Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition of Palm Beach County – a successful initiative that grew out of a Leadership Engage Class of 2014 civic engagement project.
The two-year-old program is not only running but flourishing, with nearly two dozen girls getting encouragement, career advice, and other support from successful and professional women wanting to give back.
Michelle Gonzalez (Class of 2011), CEO of Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies, who oversaw the project, explains the impact of the Teen Mom Mentoring Program:
“The program has grown tremendously since its inception. We have a full time Program Coordinator and currently have 18 active match pairs with three additional pairs pending. Several of our girls have recently made the honor roll and even more are taking the SAT and ACT, researching colleges and scholarships, delivering healthy babies and better understanding the importance of self-care as well as prenatal care. They continue to learn about parenting, pregnancy and all the ways they can become independent young women with the help of their mentors. We have one mentor in particular who became a legal guardian of her mentee so that the teen could register for her senior year.”
“Amazing things are happening with this program every day! Our Program Coordinator has developed a 70+ page policies and procedures manual, mentor training curriculum and is a master at communication, technology and supervision! She has even been asked to present best practices to the United Way Mentor Network! On top of all that, the program is being considered to be part of a statewide mentor center program (only five are chosen).”
Teen Mom Mentoring Program is a testament to the lasting impact of LPBC’s civic engagement projects. There’s been dozens of projects over the years taking on issues big and small in our community.
All the projects are aimed at helping people improve their lives – like making sure teenage mothers gain the confidence to continue their education and succeed in pursuing their career and life ambitions.
Learn more here about how you can get involved in the Teen Mom Mentoring Program.