A better question is "Why not Fristers?" The US teen pregnancy rate is the highest in the developed world. Based on our extensive intake process for teen parents joining our program, 95% of teen parents live far below the US poverty level, 64% have no job, 85% receive welfare assistance, 62% have no high school diploma or GED.
Many of our clients come from intergenerational poverty. Most live in gang neighborhoods with 4-8 family members sharing a single room. Few have a driver’s license or car. Many have been victims of abuse or domestic violence.
And what about the child? Children of teen parents are at risk of premature birth and low birth rate, higher rates of abuse and neglect, developmental delays, behavioral issues such as aggression, impulsive behavior, loneliness, and low self esteem, and have a higher rate of dropping out of high school.
Teen moms and teen dads face monumental challenges, typically with no support system. In addition, these young adults are often burdened with rejection, criticism, and shame from their communities.
Fristers, founded and operated on Christian principles, is dedicated to breaking the cycle of poverty and abuse within the teen parent population by providing education, access to resources, role models and support to teen parents and their children.
Our programs and services are provided to the community free of charge and regardless of religion, race, or ethnicity, and there is no religious requirement for participants.
Since inception we have served 900 mothers and over 1,000 children. Our young mothers are graduating high school, enrolling in college and vocational training programs, getting their driver’s license, securing employment, learning how to be responsible, caring parents to their children, and finding hope for their future. And children are receiving early intervention services that are improving their developmental, social, and educational gains, preparing them for Kindergarten and life.
Every family deserves a fighting chance.