Parent Life: Opening the door to teen parents

Parent Life: Opening the door to teen parents

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LUBBOCK, Texas -

There were more than 615,000 pregnant teenagers in 2014.

They're less likely to attend college, more likely to live in poverty, depend on public assistance, and be in poor health. Most of these budding families don't have a traditional support structure. 

Parent Life, a Lubbock non-profit here, is wanting to change the statistics and the stigma most teen parents live with. 

"We want to lower the rate of repeat pregnancies, heighten the rate of high school graduates, and then have a higher rate of dads that are involved in their kids' lives," said Parent Life Assistant Director Devin Vergara. "We have just so many statistics that we want to change, my goal my dream would be to not have a job my dream would be to ask God 'where are you going to send me next.'" 

Parent Life focuses on building life skills through faith and strong relationships, which includes parenting. The organization also works on building a future for these young parents by helping with resume writing, job skills, budgeting, and finishing high school. 

Paige Radke has been a member of Parent Life since before she gave birth to her son, Jesiah, and said she has learned so much through the program. 

"Yeah it's a struggle, you just have to persevere and have faith in yourself and ask for help when you need it and don't just take in on yourself, especially when Parent Life is here and they can help you, they are more than willing," she said.  

Radke became pregnant shortly after she gradated high school. She was 16 going on 17 and didn't have the support system she needed. 

"I had already graduated high school, so that aspect was a little different than most other teen parents, but definitely working was hard. I had a full time job and as soon as I had him I was working full time, his dad wasn't working so I was away from him so it was hard initially."  

She found the support system through Parent Life and said she is planning on going to college and wants to be a mentor after she ages out of the program. Parent Life administrators said their door is always open and encourage any teen parent to stop by and visit, for additional details about Parent Life and the services they offer visit http://www.yfclubbock.org/


 


 

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