Local program helps young girls deal with motherhood
SOUTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, Fla. (WSVN) -- A South Florida program gets teenage moms back on their feet.
"I love this program," said Nicole Marques. "It was amazing. It taught me everything I know about parenting."
Marques recently graduated from AMIkids Wings South Florida, a program which helps juvenile offenders who are pregnant or have infants. "Here they show you how to mature," said Marques. "They teach you how to do things when things happen. I couldn't have been in a better place when I had my baby."
The program partnered with Florida's Department of Juvenile Justice to provide education, counseling, parenting skills, and medical services for about 15 girls. "It's great when kids look back on their experience with us and credit us with their success," said Director of Communications, Sherri Ulleg. "Although what we do is really give the tools to the kids so they have the chance to transform themselves. They do the work and we just support them in it."
The program is a second chance. An opportunity to stay together with their baby as a family and it's their chance to get back on the right track. "A lot of girls come to us and they're in a situation where they don't know what to do," said Ulleg. "In some cases they don't have family support. And so we become that family for them and teach them how to become that family for their kids."
One soon-to-be mom tried to cope with the fact she would be a young mother and worried she would just be a statistic until she got to Wings. "When I got here," said Sarah, "they showed me that you don't have to give up. This place gave me hope that you can actually do things, and it's gonna be OK."
Another teen in the program for about 10 months had a message for other young moms out there. "If she can't get it together for herself," said Stormy, "get it together for her baby. What we want is for each girl to be successful for herself and be a successful parent for her family."
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