Instilling confidence and opportunity for young moms, changing generations to come
LifeCoach provides teen and young mothers with a network of support and gives them the education, tools and resources needed to improve their mental health and well-being, enhance their parenting skills, complete high school, prepare for employment, increase self-reliance, and develop healthy relationships. The majority of classes are taught by our strategic network of community partners who are professionals in their fields and utilize evidence based curriculums. Our case management team works with each mother individually to determine her specific needs and areas for growth. Whether it is high school enrollment, counseling, or finding safe housing, case managers identify appropriate resources and support in the community and coach mothers on how to access services successfully. Our weekly group meetings provide young mothers with an opportunity to build friendships with other mothers, and with our adult mentors who model appropriate behavior, help identify options in challenging circumstances, and show love, respect and acceptance.
Surrounded with a healthy and robust support system, young mothers are graduating high school, enrolling in college and vocational training, securing employment, building healthy relationships, becoming successful parents, and finding hope for their future.
As a pregnant teen, I was told a lot of things. "You won't be able to finish school. You'll never be able to support yourself. You've ruined your life. How could you let this happen? Are you not with the dad? No one wants a girl with baggage. You're damaged goods." Encouraging stuff, no?
I also faced a lot of very real statistics that made these things seem depressingly true:
Only half of the teen parents graduate high school (...well, got that one done already.)
Only two percent of teen parents get a degree by age 30. (...30? I won't finish college for the next 11 years?)
My kid will have double the rate of a prison sentence or become a teen parent themselves. (...guilt, guilt, guilt)
When I was in 11th grade I met a guy, who gave me the love and attention I was looking for. I became pregnant after a few months of dating. I was 16. I didn’t have my parents around much and I was lost and sad.
When I heard there was a place like Fristers at first I was nervous because I don’t really fit in at a lot of places, but I was happy at the same time that I was going to hang out with other moms that were going through the same thing that I was. My first visit at Fristers was in Santa Ana, seven years ago. I felt safe and I knew my son was safe and I felt good being there.