My name is Jessica Martinez and I am currently in the Advocates for Adolescent Mothers program and our first workshop was actually yesterday Saturday 16, 2017. It was very amazing working and sharing ideas with other young moms that are in the program as well. Also working with Lilian is nice because she understand what being a young mom is like because she has been in our shoes before and I trust her, and Lilian is a good listener she is like a second mom to me. I decided to join because when I meet Lilian at Malcolm X she told me all about the program and that she wants to help us young moms it made me feel special that there is a Scholarship for young moms and the money not only goes to school but for us and our babies which was a very smart idea and very rewarding for Lilian since us young moms dont have enough support or money to help our babies get their needs. I hope by writing this review it will encourage other young moms to join this organization because I want AFAM to continue on to their goal and I want AFAM to be a success in the future.
I became aware of Advocates for Adolescent Mothers when I applied for the Educational Empowerment Program Grant to help pay for my last semester of college. Since then, I have finished school, graduating from Roosevelt University with a BA in Psychology. I was the first person in my family to not only earn a college degree, but a high school diploma as well. I am so grateful to have met Lillian Harris and being apart of AFAM. I too became a mother at a young age, but being apart of AFAM, I learned that my dreams were not impossible to reach because I had a child young. Lillian Harris has taught me to use the obstacles that I have been faced with as motivation to exceed expectations. AFAM gave me a sense of belonging and a platform to share my story with other young moms and to be able to celebrate the accomplishments that no one thought we could achieve. I am thankful to have been apart of such an amazing organization.
I joined Advocates for Adolescent Mothers(AFAM) in the Summer of 2011. Since then I have had multiple opportunities to share my story as a teen mom and student, as well as benefit from multiple opportunities with the organization. AFAM has provided parenting resources, which have helped promote a healthy relationship and development for my daughter and I. Additionally, through fundraising for AFAM and running in the Shamrock Shuffle this year, I was able to give back, increase my health, and complete my goals. Moreover, budgeting, goal setting, and vision board activities have helped me stay focused on my goals and plan for the future. Having another mom join in the workshops this year has given me the opportunity to share and listen to each other's stories; providing a richer experience. Most recently, I utilized a skit to address an issue with effective communication in my current job. As I was prepared, the conversation with my employer went smoothly, and I was able to express my concern effectively. AFAM has provided me with so many enriching opportunities, and I look forward to continuing involvement in AFAM and seeing it grow.
This organization has not only helped me financially but also personally. After winning the scholarship from AFAM, I realized how lucky I am to be part of them. The workshops that I have to attend for my scholarship don't feel like any other workshop, I feel a personal connection with other moms and realize that I'm not the only one and I don't stand alone. AFAM has helped me become a better mom and a better person with all the information I receive in the workshops.
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.
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!
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.