Home Illinois The program helps Illinois teen moms earn a high school diploma

The program helps Illinois teen moms earn a high school diploma


HARVEY, Ill. — Only two percent of teen moms go on to college, and one local program is working overtime to change that.

The dropout rate of teenage moms is staggering as they are forced to juggle full-time parenting duties, often without the support they need to finish high school.

There’s a little hidden building in Harvey that’s doing great things for new moms and their babies.

The Blanche Foxworthy Baby Care Center and Teen Parenting Program provide toddlers and their new mothers with the support they need.

The young mother initially planned to drop out of high school after the birth of her child because she did not know how she would balance being a student and a mother.

“I had a 15-year-old daughter who was a sophomore,” said Macia Hampton of the Thornton City Teen Parent Program.

“It was difficult. It’s been a tough struggle, especially having a daughter at such a young age.”

Baby Care Center director Candace Coleman says their job is to make sure these new parents know they have a place for their babies and a plan for themselves.

“When I need to be your mom, your nurse, your prayer warrior,” Coleman said. “That’s why we gathered.”

Coleman and ICCD hold young mothers accountable while monitoring their activities.

“They push me to do better,” Ella Allen said.

The teenagers say the program feels like a second family, especially during the outings where they bond with parents just as young as themselves.

“I don’t know if I could have supported them on my own without starting this village,” Allen said.

For Baby Care Center director Candice Coleman, the reward is twofold: every baby here means another teenage mom graduates.

“Seeing the girls achieve, seeing them flourish with a baby in tow,” Coleman said. “You know what they say, if you could do something for free? That would be the job.”


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