Dreams for Her Children

At age 16, Pam became pregnant and during her senior year of high school joined the Children & Family Resource Center’s Adolescent Parenting Program.  The guidance she received from her program coordinator and the support from the other young mother’s in the program helped her look beyond her obstacles and begin to dream about her future with her little girl, Iyana. In 2004, Pam Peak graduated from Hendersonville High School with a 3.7 GPA and received recognition as a NC Academic Scholar. That same year, Pam was also awarded the NC APP Graduation Conference Valedictorian Award for having the highest GPA out of 108 teens enrolled in Adolescent Parenting Programs throughout the state of NC. She had big dreams for her future. After graduation, Pam pursued and received a certificate in Accounting from Blue Ridge Community College.  Today, she owns her own home and has a career that she loves.  Over the years, Pam has continued her education and will be graduating this May with her Associates Degree in Business Administration!  Iyana has thrived in school and is now in the 6th grade!  She is also big sister to Lilyana- a role she takes very seriously. “Having a baby when I was fifteen didn’t mean I had to give up my dreams,” says Pam.  “It meant I had to work harder to achieve them.” Pam’s drive and dreams for her future combined with the support she received in the Adolescent Parenting Program have given her the skills to be successful and provide a loving and nurturing environment for her...
A Mother’s Education is Key

A Mother’s Education is Key

When I think of college students, the image that comes to mind is one like my own; young, fresh-faced, 18-year-old boy on his way out my door, ready for the freedom and lessons of college life. I think of dorms, classes, new friends, parties and football games. Despite the work I do here at the Center, I rarely think of a student starting out, juggling classes, part-time jobs and possibly a child or two at home. In reality, according to Education Week, “experts say a young, often poor, working parent is becoming the most common college student.” A recent report from the Foundation for Child Development confirms something we’ve known for a long time. A mother’s education has an incredible influence on the well-being of her child’s life. The report analyzes 13 different economic, education and health indicators for children whose mothers have not graduated from high school, compared to children whose mothers have higher levels of education. The power of education on a young mother, as well as her children, is significant and should not be ignored. To change the next generation, to break cycles of poverty, we must focus on two generations: mother and child. The study confirmed what we see at the Children & Family Resource Center every day and why we put such a strong focus on education. Our programs are focused on the first years of a child’s life, with the intent to make sure young children are ready for success in school. This means we are working with parents, in their homes, to access their child’s development, identify and address any delays and...