Young Mothers Want to Go On to Higher Education
Teen Success, Inc. is piloting a post-secondary program, created with participant’s direct feedback about their experiences and challenges with getting a college education, such as childcare and transportation, and their need for continued support. In this continuation program, Teen Success, Inc. partners with graduates of its high school program in pursuing college or a job training program.
A Critical Partnership
Staring Down a Catch-22
Still, young mothers continue to come up against serious obstacles, such as needing to maintain a full-time student status for financial aid. Over 90% of Teen Success, Inc. members are living in poverty and require financial aid to attend school, however, because they have their own children, many can’t apply for aid as dependents. They also need to provide for their children, including the costs of quality child care and preschool education. It’s a catch-22 most young mothers face – being caught between needing financial aid to go to college and attain a stable, well-paying job, versus working to provide for her family’s needs right now.
From left: Stephanie Brown; Teen Success, Inc. San Jose Scholarship Recipients Evelyn, Sofia, Lesly, and Kassandra; former Teen Success, Inc. Advocate Alexandra Hill
An Uncharted Way Forward
Meeting the needs of parenting students in college is challenging and critical to ensuring the long-term success of young families. This pilot of a post-secondary program is revealing the supports young families need in order to be stable enough to thrive in college - secure housing, a reliable and flexible job, and good childcare. Additionally, applying for financial aid, balancing a full-time schedule and a job, and additional scholastic support for Spanish speakers are other areas of needed support. One college student and Teen Success, Inc. Scholarship recipient says, “I want my son and I to live in a neighborhood where it's peaceful, safe, and out of poverty, and an education can get that for us.”
Teen Success, Inc. will continue to share its post-secondary pilot learnings in the coming months and will also continue to support young mothers to break the cycle of poverty in their families through education, ensuring that they, and their children, will thrive.
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Empowering teen mothers, transforming lives
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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