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2019 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Advocates for Adolescent Mothers

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Children & Youth, Family Services for Adolescent Parents, Youth Development

Mission: Advocates for Adolescent Mothers is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and social enterprise committed to empowering young parents by providing them with the tools, resources, and support needed to break the cycle of poverty, establish prosperity, and prevent child abuse.

Results: Advocates for Adolescent Mothers is most proud of our Educational Empowerment Grant Initiative due to its strong potential to accomplish our mission to break the poverty cycle among families headed by young parents. Through the Educational Empowerment Grant Initiative, young parents have the opportunity to earn a monetary grant up to the amount of $500, receive mentoring, and participate in bi-monthly workshops throughout the academic year that impart knowledge about managing the roles of being a parent and college student. This program is still in the piloting phase, and we are entering our second year in 2012. Through our toy drive, we collect and donate toys to the children of homeless young mothers at Christmas time. Through our signature event, the Back to School Celebration, we have provided approximately 100 young parents with backpacks that contained school supplies and toiletries. The purpose of Advocates for Adolescent Mothers’ Back to School Celebration is to promote education and encourage young parents to return to school. Our Back to School Celebration is the only Chicago event to offer this level of much needed support to young parents.

Target demographics: Young parents between the ages of 13-24.

Programs: Active: Educational Empowerment Grant Initiative, Holiday Drive, Teen Parent Stable Housing Study Developing: Housing, Childcare, Scholarships

Community Stories

102 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Board Member

Rating: 5

I am working with AFAM as of September, 2013 and I can honestly say I've never seen any leader work with such focus, resilience and overall passion as Lillian. Her story is one that really touches your heart and makes you want to work harder because you can really feel how she's trying to impact others that are currently teen mothers through her work. There are many great things to come from AFAM and I am honored to be a part of the movement.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I began working with AFAM (Advocates for Adolescent Mothers) recently after learning about the organization's founder and mission. AFAM's founder, Lillian Harris, is passionate about the organization she started and committed to helping young parents in Chicago. The organization interacts with the community on so many different levels and seeks to continue growing and helping young mothers even further. It's an honor to be involved with such an outstanding group.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have had the distinct privileged of knowing Lillian personally since high school. I have had the amazing opportunity to watch her success story as she overcame the struggles of being a teen mom and has made it her life mission to help others facing the same situation. I have been fortunate enough to have volunteer for Advocates for Adolescent Mothers in the finance realm and have attended numerous events. I have watched the events, as well as the organization, grow and have seen the impact the organization has had firsthand. The Holiday Toy Drive and Skylight Luncheon are two of my favorite annual events. It is so rewarding to see the impact Lillian and the organization have made as young women tell their story and explain how they battled adversity to achieve educational success which will help them provide a better life for their child. I have enjoyed contributing to the organization because it is so evident how necessary such an organization is today. I have found Lillian and the organization to be inspirational and uplifting. It is so refreshing to see an organization that prides itself on empowerment and a positive attitude. I fully endorse AFAM as a wonderful organization that affords wonderful opportunities to mothers and children who might otherwise not achieve such success.

Dagene B.

Board Member

Rating: 5

AFAM is a wonderful nonprofit organization committed to supporting young parents, helping them break the cycle of poverty and gain prosperity. It is a pleasure to work alongside the founder, Lillian Harris, whose experiences created this vision of support for teen parents.

Christina58

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Advocates for Adolescent Mothers is an organization dedicated to providing mentor-ship and resources to young mothers. I find it greatly encouraging that this organization seeks to uplift those parents, and through counseling and workshop help prevent the incursion of debt that seems to inhibit young parents from succeeding. AMFAM helps break down the barriers that would impede the progression of these valuable young minds and instigates potential, something that is DESPERATELY needed in today's society.

Pocohontas H.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered for Advocates for Adolescent Mothers off and on for a few years now and I think that this program is one of the best in it's kind. It gives young woman hope, reliable resources, and mentorship that will allow them to be most effective in there journey as young parents and in continuing there education. We need more programs like this.

Bre'e S.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

AFAM founder Lillian Harris identifies with her clients because she has been where they are. Her dedication and commitment to helping her clients is genuine and sincere. This organization mentors, guides, motivates, and cultivates an environment of achievement and self-determination. Lillian is an kind, passionate, and professional leader. I endorse this organization without any reservation!!

Dwayne H.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The work of an NFP organization is often best felt through the passion of its founders and leadership. Lillian Harris has always been an exemplary woman, moving with style and grace to build a special organization that is built on the premise of her own life experience. She is always making sure that we know whats going on with AFAM and is a great representative for this cause.
The young mothers that she works with are the producers of our future and this type of work is critical to society as a whole. I support!!!

Emissary W.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

It is a privilege to work with an organization who genuinely cares about making a change in society. Especially when it comes to our youth...after all the youth are the future snd AFAM is making sure that young parents are well equipped and empowered to take on the world.

Previous Stories

Client Served

Rating: 5

Advocates for Adolecent Mothers is a wonderful organization helping teens moms from all walks of life. I'm a former teen mom myself and I didn't have many resources at the time that would help you find housing, encourage you to continue school and even share their own real life experiences to let you know people care and you can make it despite all odds. The founder Lillian Harris even took the time to talk to my daughter about her options for college,financial aid and my daughter isn't a teen mom. Ms. Harris genuinely has a heart for the youth. In this time and day, we really need more people like the ones at Advocates for Adolecent Mothers!

Patricia36

Donor

Rating: 5

I am pleased to support AFAM because of the passion and dedication of the founder, Lillian Harris. The same drive and determination that catapulted Lillian from a struggling and sometimes homeless adolescent mother to a social worker with a master's degree from one of the world's most renowned universities is what propels this organization forward. Consistently. Lillian gives openly and generously from her heart. She's walked in the shoes of the teens in her program. And she is laser-focused on empowering and inspiring them to be great mothers, and supporting them against any obstacles that could impede them from continuing their education.

lc12088

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

There are so many amazing reviews of AFAM as an organization (all of which I agree with 100%) that I want to take a minute and talk about its founder - Lillian Harris. I met Ms. Harris at a conference earlier this year and was blown away by her passion, courage, and determination. She is as wonderful a person as she is a leader. There are a lot of great non-profits out there but it is rare that you find an organization with a great mission, great services, AND an awe-inspiring leader! Kudos to AFAM. I wish them continued success in all that they do.

Monique C.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Advocates for Adolescent Mothers is a wonderful resource for teenage moms to excel in their futures! I love the fact that they have a scholarship program, which can truly impact the direction in which a teen mom will take when considering how she will pursue a higher education. I am excited to see how this organization will grow long-term!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Advocates for Adolescent Mothers is a breath of fresh air for teen moms! I was blessed to have lunch with the founder Ms. Lillian Harris & she is God sent! Her compassion & positive enegy is contaigious. I left wanting to be apart of AFAM. I believe that same spirit that flows through the founder is flowing through AFAM. I give this organization an easy 5 stars. I stand behind the mission of Empowering Teen Moms. I look forward to volunteering in the very near future!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

AFM is a breathe of fresh air to a subject that is in great need. In a day were teen pregenancy is at an all time high as well as being indorsed by through networks and their shows, an organization which attacks the issue in the way it is needed to the community is God sent.

Donor

Rating: 5

AFAM is an outstanding organization with demonstrated commitment to young mothers and the challenges they face. The programs and fundraising events sponsored by AFAM are truly wonderful. I donated to this organization because I believe in the work that they do.

Kim_16

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The emotional support, monetary help , and knowledge that AFAM provides is like no other I have seen. Lillian Harris's vision is unprecedented and relentless. The adolescent girls of today are in dire need for this type of organization. Lillian leads by example and first hand knowledge and with this being said the girls are in super hands.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

AFAM is a great nonprofit organization for teen mothers. Teen pregnancy can be a burden both mentally and socially. Words can’t begin to express the guidance and support that is offered through the leaders of this organization.

Charity B.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I wanted to take this time to thank Advocates for Adolescent Mothers for choosing me to receive this award. With the money I have received, my daughter and I have been able to visit our family in Chicago. This is extremely important to me because I want my daughter to know her family, and I believe that family should stay connected. Also, it means a lot that my mom can see her granddaughter grow up. Besides immediate family, we have other supportive loved ones in Chicago, and it good to see them as well. When we visit, I am motivated even more to continue my educational and personal goals. So I thank all of my supporters who are survivors and know, just as I do, that there is no other option but success. I thank those who advocate for teen parents continuing in college and know the significance of their fights in a teen’s life. As a teen mother, I know that many other teen parents will benefit from this program. Furthermore, based on the impact this organization has had on my family so far, I definitely believe there should be more agencies like it.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I have volunteered twice for Advocates for Adolescent Mothers, and both times i volunteered it was amazing. i feel that Advocates for Adolescent Mothers is great because it is helping young moms get out of poverty, and it helps the young moms take care of their children. My mom created Advocates for Adolescent Mothers and she is a great mom to me.

Wanda T.

Donor

Rating: 5

The vision of AFAM is absolutely astounding! The work that they've done - even more so. Raising awareness and implementing various programs such as scholarship grant initiatives and help for children of young mothers returning to school is quite impressive to say the least. This NPO is one that I want to make continuous contributions to. To think that it all began with a young mother who had - and still has, a wonderful vision. God Bless AFAM and the exciting work that they're doing.

Kisha N.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I was a teen mom and although my mom was a great support, I recognize the need for teen and adolescent moms to have an organization and people in there corner where they can be the primary focus. Advocates for Adolescent Mothers is a great organization that caters to the needs of the teen moms and helps them to stay on track and lets them know that their life can still be a success story despite the challenges of being a young and/or adolescent mother.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Once being a young mom myself and recognizing the lack of resources and support I received. I can appreciate the vision of AFAM. Parents who experienced being a young parent, homelessness, lack of support; should want to support this vision.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

AFAM is a great nonprofit organization for adolescent mothers to have in their corner. I too was a teen mom without any resources to utilize back in the 80's. God Bless AFAM ministry....

Board Member

Rating: 5

Advocates for Adolescent Mothers exceeded all expectations in 2011, not only through the Back to School Celebration, advocating for young parents to return to school, but also through the Educational Empowerment Grant Initiative, an innovative and promising program providing financial and social support to young moms entering their first year of college, and also through our toy drive, providing toys to the children of homeless young mothers in Chicago at Christmas time.

Advocates for Adolescent Mothers has a targeted and strategic approach to accomplishing their mission of providing young parents with the tools, resources, and support needed to break the cycle of poverty. Although the Board is still growing, we are a very congealed team of professionals passionate about empowering young parents, and improving the welfare of their children: We have been able to accomplish much although we are small in number. In 2011, our accomplishments included the offering of 7 event experiences to our supporters, 4 successful fundraising campaigns, and the forging of 13 new partnerships.

Advocates for Adolescent Mothers embraces our identity as a social enterprise, in that all of the initiatives offered through the organization are funded by contributions from private donors and fundraising events/campaigns. Over the years, Advocates for Adolescent Mothers will continue to prove that we are more than a mere nonprofit organization and social enterprise, but Advocates for Adolescent Mothers is a MOVEMENT!

Previous Stories

Board Member

Rating: 4

The odds are against young men and women who have children at early ages. Many fail to realize that these young men and women are very resilient, and with proper support from the community and others who care, these young people can go on to become productive, well-rounded citizens.

At Advocates for Adolescent Mothers, we firmly believe that young parents are not doomed to failure because they had a child at an early age. We are committed to empowering young parents, and providing them with the resources needed to break the cycle of poverty.

Education is one of the most effective weapons against poverty. Unfortunately, only 2 percent of teen mothers earn a college degree before 30. There are many barriers that inhibit young parents from returning to school, and/or completing and furthering their educations. Advocates for Adolescent Mothers continues to explore and implement strategies to address and conquer these barriers.

Although still in it's infancy, Advocates for Adolescent Mothers has a Board of Directors who are committed to the mission and vision of the Organization. Though they are few, AFAM's Board of Directors are effective, extremely productive, and genuinely concerned about the population of young parents and their children.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This organization is a great source that encourage a at risk population ie adolescent parents to further thier education, what is more empowering than that. Adolescent parents mainly the ladies are usually wrote off in this society. This organization goal is to help lift thier heads and spirits, to show them it's not over you can still do great things, especially through education. As a volunteer at last year 2010 celebration I saw first hand how this encouragement lifted spirits. As the founder Lillian Harris annouced the young ladies who would be attending college in the fall the audience were elated and the young ladies appeared proud. A spirit is a terrible thing to waste let's keep these adolescents encouraged. Get involved. You will be surprised how great you feel and what great things can happen when you give others the opportunity to do thier best. What a wonderful feeling to know you were a part in assisting an adolescent parent to achieve their goal in spite of.

Joyce H.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

AFAM is a great organization which I personally know was put together by someone who experienced first hand what it is like to be in the shoes of a teen parent. Her experiences has made her not only invest but also put a great deal of dedication into this organization. She is very committed in becoming a great advocate for those who may need the help that AFAM provides and I know that this organization will not only help the teen parents but also the children of the teen parents and their children"s children. This organizations will have an effect on many lives which is ultimately making a difference in the world.

Donor

Rating: 5

AFAM has a stong and dedicated leader in Lillian Harris. I have witnessed first hand the impact of adolescent pregnancy and the burdens both mentally, and socially that are placed on them. Also I have seen the triumph and strength that those young women exude. Where you start is not where you end and Ms. Harris is a rousing example.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As a fellow service provider for girls ranging in ages from 7-17 yrs. old, I totally understand the vast amount of services they require and important areas that they need in support in. I'm thankful that AFAM exists to provide sound and reliable services to cover areas specific to supporting adolescent mothers!

Michellese H.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

AFAM is an excellent organization that is committed to working with a population that is often not recognized AFAM's programs provide hope you young mothers and lets them know that people do care about them. The resources they provide these mothers are informative, as well as beneficial for themselves and their children. The mentoring offered is definatley grooming these young women into positive role models for our future teen mothers. I definately appreciate AFAM and hope they can offer services to all inner city high schools in the city of Chicago. I envision AFAM being global in the near future.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

AFAM has an amazing mission and the activities and programs that are blossoming will only provide great outcomes for young parents in need of support, guidance, and encouragement. The Back to School Celebration in August was a huge success and I am thankful I was able to participate in it. I was very pleased with the strong collaboration AFAM developed with Simpson High School, which is the only school in the city that targets adolescent mothers. These type of services need to flourish in order for our young people and children to flourish and have positive life outcomes, and transition to being productive citizens in society. I look forward to AFAM's continued growth and success!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

AFAM has participated in Park Forest Youth Day event and provided a wealth of knowledge to those attending. The many services the organization has provided to the young women in the communities has served to strengthen their character, give them a bigger vision and shed positive focus in transitional years of their lives.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 4

AFAM is an excellent organization that is committed to working with population that is often disserviced. AFAM partnered with our school for a Back to School Event that brought in mentors, community resources, free services, food, prizes, and fun to young parents from across the city. I look forward to continuing to partner with them as well as watch them grow.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

The mission of this "new kid on the block" organization is extraordinary! I had the privilege to serve at the AFAM BTS event on last year and the support and recognition for this event within the community was extremely impressive! From a prestigious political dignitary to the AIDS Foundation to small businesses, it was well organized, well represented and well sponsored and supported.

I believe this organization will be an exceptional tool in the community, a bridge of support over troubled waters for teen moms, dads, and their children, and a voice crying in the wilderness for all teens parent who are prospective overcomers!!! GOOD WORK AFAM!!!