When Akeisha learned that she was pregnant in 2001, she knew her life was about to drastically change. “As a pregnant teenager, I was scared, so I decided to take advantage of any resource given to me.” Akeisha enrolled in The Parenting Center’s Healthy Families Program which connected her with a case manager who would visit Akeisha’s home each week to teach her about positive parenting techniques and activities that stimulate infant development. The case manager would also help provide free transportation to doctor appointments or activities, like group events at The Parenting Center that allowed her to socialize with other teen parents.
“The Parenting Center invested in me, and that gave me the inspiration as a teen mom to invest in my child. I grew up with a single mom who never could be around, and I think that I would have done the same thing without the skills that The Parenting Center taught me.” states Akeisha.
Akeisha’s daughter, Adaje, is now in the top of her seventh grade class and Akeisha attributes her success to The Parenting Center. Adaje has received high acknowledgement on TAKS tests, letters from President Obama and hasn’t missed a day of class in five years. However, Adaje faces challenges that a lot of children her age face. Her father is in prison, but as Akeisha states with amazement, “difficult problems like that don’t faze her and she continues to excel.”
“When I was young and didn’t know anything about parenting, The Parenting Center helped me become a better person. Since The Parenting Center put time into me, I promised myself early on that I would volunteer for the agency when I had the time. Now that my daughter is a bit older and I’ve just completed my Bachelor’s in Healthcare Administration, I have the time I’ve always wanted to give.”
Akeisha now comes to The Parenting Center not as a client, but as one of our many valued volunteers. She helps prepare and assist facilitators with Family Life Education classes, which gives Akeisha the opportunity to provide parents with the same knowledge and skills that allowed her to strengthen her own family. We are so proud of the strides that Akeisha has made for her family and the leaps and bounds of many of our clients!