"I was a young teenager and pregnant. I was in denial. I was so confused. I was in high school, and had friends and family telling me what to do. I had 2 appointments to have an abortion, but then told my family, 'I want my baby'.
I was the first pregnant girl in my high school class. I was so alone. No one could relate to me. I was in all honor classes with white kids in my class. I felt so judged. I was a freak show.
I started with Parenthesis when I was six months pregnant. It took me a few months to open up to the group. Once I connected with them, it was a breath of relief. I came out of my funk. I realized there were other girls who could relate. It opened my eyes to see what they went through. Parenthesis made me realize I was not alone.
I had to grow up fast. My other friends were going to dances. I wished I could go, but it wasn't my time for teenaged life.
Ann and Peggy (Parenthesis social workers) are so caring. They are there for you when you need them. The dinners are fantastic! At Parenthesis, you know that people are there for you. I learn new stuff every time I go. It's so nice to have dinner together. It is such a positive environment. I've learned so much - it's always something new. I love going to group. We can talk as teen parents, and my daughter can interact with other kids. It's my only chance to work on myself as a mother. No one is judgmental. I get great feedback - things like 'how do I deal with the terrible 2's?'
I graduated with honors. I'm now in my first year of college. I plan on having a career in healthcare.
Parenthesis is so beneficial so that teen parents know they are not alone. Ann and Peggy were the first adults who were not judgmental. Is Parenthesis heaven? Its close! It taught me how to be a mom. It brought me to a community of teen parents."
Mothering On Our Own participant
"Ann is amazing! She is so encouraging and gives great advice. She is there not just for me; she's there for my kids, too. She has helped with issues such as sleeping through the night, fears of the dentist, and even getting a crib. I want to make Ann proud."
"I'm 5 months pregnant. I thought it would be easy, but it hasn't been as easy as I thought. I heard about the program from a friend. I expected it to be a lot of drama, but it wasn't. Peggy and Ann make it a safe environment. You don't feel like you will be put down for what you say. Everyone has a different experience and it's so reassuring to be in Parenteen."