Panic, denial, shame and disappointment had been all feelings experienced by a few area teenager mothers.
“My mom was unhappy,” said Amaria Dowdell. “We have been like greatest close friends but right after she identified out I was expecting she did not converse to me for a few months and we lived in the exact same property.”
Dynisha Fulgham, 24, was a cheerleader in the 10th grade at Tenoroc Higher Faculty when she identified out she was expecting. She felt like she was an embarrassment to her mom and was introducing an additional burden on her.
“We have been by now a burden on her ’cause she was a single parent and did not make a whole lot of dollars so now me placing this more human being on her it was a large amount,” Fulgham reported.
Jeyshka Garcia, 18, was a student at Bartow Significant School when she took a being pregnant take a look at. Garcia was in the beginning in denial about the probability of becoming pregnant just after going through ongoing vomiting.
“I denied it all the time,” said Garcia. “It had to be junk meals which I ate all the time.”
As each and every of these young ladies questioned what was to arrive in the next chapter of their life, The Polk County Community Colleges Teen Parent Software was a conserving grace.
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According to the Polk County School’s web page, the Teen Father or mother Method is designed to meet the requirements of expecting or parenting pupils and their little ones. The voluntary method provides collaborating college students with educational and ancillary solutions to aid the completion of high faculty.
“It’s additional stress-free, fewer pupils for an less difficult natural environment,” Fulgham reported.
Dowdell, 18, recognized she experienced to balance out her playful spirit and now supply for a baby.
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“I did not get everything significant at that time but then when I got pregnant, I experienced to notice it’s time to get up on my A game,” Dowdell reported.
She was a student at Ridge Neighborhood Higher University but was getting lessons by means of Florida Virtual University in the course of the very first fall period of the pandemic.
“My mama thought I was likely to fall out, we weren’t speaking, I stopped having the on the net classes, I was failing,” claimed Dowdell. “I was telling her ‘Mama, I know we do not discuss but I do want to graduate.’”
Garcia considered she was likely to be kicked out of her household but her mother, inspite of getting angry and let down, came to her aide.
“She was like ‘I’m heading to enable you in no matter what way I can,’” Garcia stated. “My support system is amazing.”
‘It was a big help’
In addition to furnishing expert services like parenting schooling and transportation, parents in the software are able to take their young children to faculty with them. Fulgham participated in the software at Traviss Complex College.
“It was a significant assist since I didn’t have to be concerned about who was heading to watch my kid,” said Fulgham.
“It was hassle-free for me for the reason that I realized we had been in the similar natural environment, the exact setting up at all occasions,” she added.
LaTonnja Crucial, 54, has been the Director of Teenager Father or mother System and Childcare Expert services for Polk County Schools for 15 years. Her goal is to make mothers and fathers self-enough.
“We make them self-sufficient now, so we don’t have to fret about them later,” reported Important.
Bonnie Gaynair, 62, is a social employee at Traviss and has been with the Teenager Father or mother Method given that 1994. She loves her career aiding the young mothers and fathers.
“I’m a Christian and I feel it is my way to give services to other individuals and to aid other individuals,” she reported. “It’s a privilege.”
As a social employee, Gaynair can take pupils to doctors appointments or acquire them and the boy or girl residence if the kid is sick. She has even taken in a teenager dad or mum who did not have a residence.
“I’m there to aid them in any way,” reported Gaynair.
A brighter upcoming
The young girls are grateful for the assist the application has supplied them.
“This plan has made me who I am right now,” claimed Dowdell.
Dowdell now has a just one-yr-previous son named Artreus. She graduates at the close of the month from Ridge Neighborhood Higher School and Ridge Technological College. She will return to Ridge Complex to participate in the licensed sensible nursing program.
“I want to come to be an RN and a traveling nurse,” claimed Dowdell.
Garcia is the mom to one-year-outdated Alexander. She will graduate from Bartow High and Traviss. One particular of her teachers was able to get her job as a secretary at a law agency, which she is anticipated to start out quickly immediately after.
“I want to turn into an lawyer. I have constantly cherished legislation,” Garcia stated.
Times the place instructors aid students outside the house of college bring Gaynair joy.
“There’s a great deal of networking within. There’s a household device in this article where they want to connect every single other,” said Gaynair. “The instructors, I imagine, are caring about the pupils.”
Fulgham has been a law enforcement officer with the Winter Haven Police Department for three yrs. She is the mother to 8-year-outdated LaAndre.
“I preferred to have a stable profession for him because I didn’t want to occupation hop,” Fulgham claimed.
Fulgham experienced a total circle moment when she received a likely suicidal get in touch with from dispatch about the Christmas holiday. When she arrived there was a teen mother who required a dedicated guidance technique.
“Once I went to the residence, I understood who it was simply because we’ve been to the home right before. She experienced a large amount likely on,” Fulgham claimed. “I understood suitable then and there that she did not want to give up, but she needed guidance.”
Fulgham spoke with the mom for two several hours and shared her individual tale.
“When I remaining, I began tearing up, I begun crying,” said Fulgham. “I can remember likely by means of the very same thing and wanting to give up.”
Important was also notified of that get in touch with considering the fact that the mom is in her method. She is thankful that Fulgham was the just one to answer to the simply call.
“For her to get that phone, for her to be a teen dad or mum and for her to go see a teen father or mother it was God’s divine goal for her to get that contact,” Crucial included.
“She was continue to battling, she came back to faculty but fortunately, she bought with Amaria and she’s undertaking significantly greater,” Key included. “Amaria is actually a chief listed here.”
To master extra about the teen mum or dad program visit www.polkschoolsfl.com/teenparent.
Breanna A. Rittman writes information attributes for The Ledger. Send your characteristic suggestions to BRittman@gannett.com.