By Tiara S.
I am 22 years old and have a 5-month-old baby boy. I got connected to Healthy Babies Project (HBP) when I was about two monthsâ€™ pregnant.
HBP has helped me in more ways than I dreamed possible. Without this program I wouldnâ€™t have learned most of the things that I know now about being a parent. Healthy Babies Project has opened my eyes to opportunities that are out there for me and the staff are helping me pursue them: getting a job and reapplying for school, for example.
Emotional, Practical, and Spiritual Support
I can go to them for almost anything. Many young teens do not have a role model or someone to whom they can express their feelings until they came to the program. I was one that needed counseling when I enrolled. I felt as though my life was going down hill. The HBP staff were there to listen and what discuss my issues were in life. They helped me understand that this is how life is when having another person to take care of and that everything was going to be okay. Like me, other teen parents feel much better after counseling and have much less stress.
The program provided many items for my son and me, for which I am deeply grateful. This practical support benefits more teen parents than you may realize. Most of us donâ€™t have jobs yet since weâ€™re in school. Baby supplies are expensive. Thinking about how to provide for your child is very stressful and the support takes a weight off our backs.
Every part of the program has helped soothe me from yoga to classes and trips. While in the past I have not been one who prays the way that the staff does, nevertheless as they talked I wanted this spiritual component to be a part of my life. The staff are like earthly angels.
A Parent Never Gives Up!
Some teens in the program seriously considered giving up, but the staff were there to talk them out of it. From them, I have learned that life is full of obstacles. Challenges are not always easy to overcome, but an adult and a parent should never give up when the going gets tough!
Now, a year after I was first connected with HBP, I am more refreshed and healthy on the inside and out. Every day I am grateful for all that they have done for my child and me. The day I walked into that door was a life changing decision and one I am very happy that I did. I would like for other young mothers to get to share the same kind of experience as I have had. I can honestly say I would most definitely take the class again and invite others to come along. That’s why I have joined TPEP the Remix.
If you know a pregnant District resident age 12-21, encourage her to learn more about the Teen Parent Empowerment Program.