“You Can Do It!”
2011 TPEP graduate Kahlin Kelly shared these remarks at the 2012 TPEP graduation
Congratulations! I can assure you this is only the beginning.
Two years ago I was like you … lost and confused about what might happen next. How would I support myself as well as this new life growing inside of me? I had graduated high school when I was 3 months pregnant, and my life was at a standstill. I had little to no support. That’s when I took a leap of faith with people who I didn’t even know.
I moved to D.C. with two duffle bags of clothes and a dream. A dream of being able to go to school and take care of my unborn son. A dream to start over and have a successful life without the troubles of poverty and anguish. Moving to D.C. was a big change for me and I wasn’t quite sure where to start. Fortunately, my aunt gave me a place to stay had also given me a key resource that would change my life for the better. She told me about Healthy Babies Project and the support that this wonderful agency offered.
Once I walked through the door of Healthy Babies Project, I knew this was where I needed to be. Today, with the support of Healthy Babies Project, I stand before you as a University of the District of Columbia honor roll student. My son is enrolled in one of the top child care facilities in the metro area. I am receiving the emotional support and assistance I need to complete me education and build a productive life.
What You Take With You
Tonight you will leave here as TPEP graduate, but you also leave here with the knowledge and empowerment to move forward with your lives. This journey is so much more than 40 weeks of classes and a stipend. Through Healthy Babies Project, you gain also wisdom. You build long-lasting friendships. You develop a sense of stability.
I have benefited from this program so much. Each one of you has the same chance. We do not need to become another statistic. Instead, we can prove everyone that ever doubted our ability to build a life.
Not only have I made our staff members proud but I have also changed my life for the better. You can too. So with that being said, leave here tonight with courage. You can obtain greater heights – because you have the potential. Seize it!
If you know a pregnant District resident age 12-21, encourage her to learn more about the Teen Parent Empowerment Program by logging onto our website.