Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Assisting Young Mothers

By Meghan Huebner

Working with young mothers in our Assisting Young Mothers program (AYM) for the past four years has truly been a rewarding experience. Being able to work with a family long-term, and see them change before your eyes, is often exciting for staff and residents alike. There have been many wonderful achievements by AYM residents that I have been fortunate enough to witness: high school graduations, earning driver’s licenses, passing certificate courses, obtaining a GED, and much more. The children also achieve many milestones while in our program: first words, first steps, first day at school, and other causes for celebration.

Many times, it’s not the major accomplishments that are the most important. For many residents, it’s the small things that living in a stable household can create that are the most important, and have the most impact. As one resident recently told me when we were talking about her achievements after a year in the program,

Since coming to live at AYM, I have been able to establish a routine for my son, and he is secure with it. He is going to his babysitter and he knows when I am busy that he has to do his own thing. He knows that things will be the same each day and he can rely on me when things are routine.

Her perspective of her accomplishments was completely different than the achievements that I think of when I consider her time at AYM: holding a full-time job for over a year, obtaining her learner’s permit and driver’s license, beginning to enroll in college classes, living in our most independent townhouse and more. At AYM, I am constantly reminded of the importance of looking at both the very big and the very small pictures: everything from buying a car down to a child’s smile.

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