IRVINE, CA – July 30, 2013
“Fristers has really changed my life and allowed me to accomplish my goals that I never would have done just by myself.” – Gabby
Teen pregnancy in the Unites States is still prominent among young girls. One teen mother, Gabby, sought help from Fristers when she was only 16 in 2008. Her son Abraham, at the time, was just a year old. She was a struggling sophomore in high school with no driver’s license, no car and no financial help from the father of her son. Although she was receiving some nutrition help from the WIC (Women, Infants and Children), it was still not enough to support her newborn baby. Gabby connected with Fristers and began to grow as a loving mother to Abraham. “Fristers made me feel better and more secure,” Gabby said. “This is an awesome place to be! You meet new people and learn a lot.”
Fristers goal is to provide young mothers, ages 13-24, with the care and resources they need to parent their child and live healthy, productive lives. The weekly LifeCoach program helps to support teen mothers with education, access to resources and role models. Young participants attend a 32 week program that includes one-on-one case management, classroom teaching, relationship-building activities, as well as group projects and field trips. During this time their children are also taken care of through the Kidsters Childcare and School Readiness program. This is used to nurture, teach and prepare children for kindergarten.
Today, Gabby has her life, as well as Abraham’s, on a better track thanks to the Fristers program. She is now 21 years old and her son Abraham is six. Currently she lives with her family in Santa Ana and was able to finish and graduate from high school. She attends Santa Ana College, earning all A’s and B’s in her courses. Gabby still finds time to volunteer at her church and receives no public assistance of any kind. She has become an independent young mother and served as a Big Sister for Fristers this past year where she received 3rd place for Best Attendance Award. She could not have made it to where she is today without the help of the Fristers program. “I would like to thank Fristers for giving their time to support us as young moms,” Gabby said.
Fristers was formed in 2008 to provide education, access to resources, role models, and support to teen mothers. Fristers assists with transportation to and from program meetings and provides dinners for mothers and their children. More than 600 young moms and children are served annually through Fristers at their five locations in Orange County, CA. All programs and services are free of charge and provided to the community regardless of religion, race or ethnicity. There is no religious requirement for the program.
In 2010, Orange County had 2,479 teen births within that year alone, ranking Orange County #3 in highest number of total teen births of all California counties. Teen pregnancy has been declining and rates have fallen at least 15% between 2007 and 2011 in all states, according to a recent report by the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
For more information about this program contact Ali Woodard at 949-387-7889 or visit the website at www.fristers.org to become a volunteer or donate. It truly does make a difference in a teen mom’s life and the child.