This one-on-one mentor program supports the educational, life, career and parenting goals of teen mothers in Palm Beach County.
Volunteer mentors are matched with pregnant or parenting teens in high schools to provide guidance, inspiration and real life experience in a trusting environment.
The goal is to empower these young women to stay in school, develop post-secondary education goals and become independent, self-sufficient mothers.
One of our 15 graduates from 2020 is Julie. Julie started the Caps & Cribs program in September of 2019, with a due date of January 20th. When coming into the program, Julie noted her biggest fear was not graduating from high school. She had and continues to have the dream of being a dental hygienist instructor and a role model for her daughter.
Julie was matched with an Office Depot mentor, Valeria. Valeria has been a mentor since 2018 and Julie would be her first match. Valeria wanted her mentee to know that she not only loves being a mom, but that she believes education is the only way to build a future for yourself and be a successful role model for your child.
The two began building their relationship right away. Since Julie would be giving birth at the beginning of the second semester of her senior year, she knew it would be difficult to manage parenting and school so she chose to do everything she could to graduate early. The match worked together to find tutoring resources, problem solve and manage Julie’s stress level to complete her high school education and prepare for the arrival of her daughter.
Julie’s daughter was born on January 22nd of 2020, just after she completed all of the necessary exams to graduate high school early. Now that Julie had overcome her biggest fear coming in to the program, the match could focus on her next step to following her dream and taking care of herself and her newborn daughter.
Due to the onset of COVID-19, the match was only able to operate virtually before closure in May; however, Julie was still able to rely on Valeria for support in those first few months and to help her get basic baby needs from the Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies emergency pantry. Julie was accepted to Palm Beach State College and plans on beginning classes this fall to pursue her dream in dentistry.
To learn more about the program, check out this video:
This program is made possible by amazing people who donate to Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition of Palm Beach County, such as Monique Heinz!