When a teen reveals she’s pregnant, she often loses the pillars of support she’s built her life on all at once. Too often, she is shunned and dismissed by her family, school, and community. She’s faced with many misconceptions about teen parents, labeling and judging her long before she’s given birth and condemning her and her child to a just another statistic.
Misconception 1: Teens who become parents can’t perform well in school
Being pregnant and having a child poses new challenges for a young parent, but they are challenges which can be overcome with the right support. If she is ostracized and denied opportunities by her teachers, counselors, and school administrators, then it is likely she could become a statistic instead living out her full potential. The young women in our program are highly motivated to finish school and create a better life for themselves and their child.
I managed to finish school a semester early despite the fact that I was pregnant. What everyone made seem impossible was possible after all.
Misconception 2: Teen moms have ruined their lives forever
While many people believe teen mothers won't be able to achieve anything in life and will be dependent on public assistance for the rest of their lives, it's actually the lack of protection for young parent’s rights* and lack of support for their education that are the real culprits behind the statistics surrounding parents who are teens. The young women in the Teen Success, Inc. program are more motivated than ever to give their child a wonderful life and realize the plans they have for their young family.
I want to succeed for myself to prove to everybody that any teen mom can continue with school and graduate and be successful in school too. Just because I am a teen mom does not mean my life is over.
Misconception 3: Teenagers aren't fit to be parents
Teenagers are thought to be too young to be good parents. Good parenting is a skill learned over time, and, as many moms would agree with, can be a challenge at any age. Young women who become mothers set the example of who they want their child to grow up to be – good people, good citizens, and good students.
Many people judged me by telling me that I would not be a good mom…I proved them wrong. I teach him manners and am preparing him for school by reading, teaching and playing with him.
The misconceptions about teen parents and their parenting make it more challenging for young women who have babies as teens to seek out and get help. When young moms hear discouraging messages, they doubt their ability to succeed and have any control over their own future. Instead, these young women need to hear positive, supportive messages to build the self-esteem and tenacity they need to achieve the dreams they have for their young families.
Teen Success taught me that that I am not alone, to believe in myself and not let anyone bring me down.
The young women in the Teen Success, Inc. Program graduate 3x more often than young moms in high school. They learn to manage their time between school, parenting and jobs – and they go on to graduate college. All young mothers need is someone to open a door for them and show them that they have what it takes to succeed.
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The mission of Teen Success, Inc. is to help underserved teen mothers and their children become educated, self-sufficient, valued members of society.
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