According to DoSomething.org, parenthood is the #1 reason that teenage girls drop out of high school — and more than 50% of teen mom never graduate.
Julie Morales is one 16-year-old mom who is working hard to raise her nine-month-old son, Liam. But she’s equally focused on her academics and future beyond high school.
It’s all thanks to a longstanding partnership between Denver Public Schools and Florence Crittenton Services, one of the oldest nonprofit organizations based in Denver. At this school, the students consist mainly of teenage mothers who are pursuing their high school diplomas while simultaneously raising their children.
While students like Julie attend their normal classes, the staff at Florence Crittenton takes care and teaches their children, who range in age from six months through pre-K. This means Julie, and other students like her, can check on their kids throughout their school day without having to worry about their wellbeing.
“Their strength and determination is remarkable,” says Suzanne Banning, president and CEO of Florence Crittenton. “Many of them get up at 4:30 a.m. so they hop on the light rail and then a couple of buses just to get here with their child. It’s all because they want a better future and a good life.”
As you’re about to see, this program has been amazingly successful.