Being a resource and support system to other young people in any way makes me happy.

Two years ago, I was pregnant and living in a shelter with my family, surrounded by violence, which made me feel unsafe. This was something I was familiar with from my upbringing, and I knew right away it wasn’t a situation I wanted my son to be around. I always said to myself that if I had a child, I’d want them to have a better living experience than I did. So, when I heard about the mom and baby home at The Children’s Village, I knew this was our chance to change our lives forever.

When I was admitted to the program, being a mom and being on my own was still new to me. I was closed off and unsure of my next steps. But after the first year, I seized every opportunity that came my way! There was support from every angle: from the director to my case manager, to my peers living at the home. Every decision I made, whether for myself or my son, had their full backing, and they offered great advice if I ever struggled.

Being in the mother and baby home has opened so many doors for me. I’ve been able to attend and assist in many workshops on parenting. Being a resource and support system to other young people in any way makes me happy. I even started cosmetology school and was able to explore a passion of mine. But when I realized that cosmetology wasn’t for me, the staff at the home were right behind me to ensure I didn’t fall off track. I soon realized I wanted to be a social worker in the future. Knowing that there are programs for teen parents and people who need help starting their families is amazing, and it’s something I want to be a part of!

A few weeks after leaving cosmetology school, I was approved for my first apartment. I was a resident at the mom and baby home for two years and knew I would one day leave, but sometimes it still feels like a dream. There are certain days when I wake up in disbelief that I have a place to call home. This month, my CV coach helped me find and apply to schools to get my social work license. I found a program that fits my schedule, so I can still focus on work and being a single mom. I believe the saying that everything comes when it’s supposed to, I’ve come a long way, and I’m excited for what the future holds as I continue to build a better life for myself and my son.

Ceanda found stability and support at CV’s mother and baby home, where teen mothers and their infants receive assistance in parenting skills, career exploration, and job readiness. Through this program, many young moms transition to independent living with secure employment and a vision for their future and their families.

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