Remember what it was like to be a teenager? Remember getting up in the morning and somehow getting yourself to class, and all the prepping in-between? Breakfast, backpack, out the door, class, lunch, then more class, homework, social life, dinner, bed. Most of us got through that phase of life more or less successfully in the midst of changing hormones, social pressures, big dreams and family challenges. Now imagine for a moment if you had managed all of that while also being a new mother. An overwhelming prospect, isn’t it?
Teen parenthood becomes a reality for about 300,000 girls each year in the U.S. Not surprisingly, only about 30% of those mothers graduate from high school. Less than 2% earn a college degree. A lack of resources for teen mothers contributes to a cycle of poverty that keeps hundreds of thousands of families from living empowering, productive lives.
Florence Crittenton is an organization on a mission to change all that, though. FloCrit, as it is commonly called, has been helping teen mothers for more than 180 years. These days the organization focuses on education, support and empowerment to help young parents, and their children and families thrive and achieve their unique potential, thereby strengthening communities and all of society.
Florence Crittenton High School, one of the first satellites of the original New York-based organization, is an integrative two-generation approach empowering teen families. With enrollment of approximately 125 girls and 100 babies each quarter, Florence Crittenton is partnered with Denver School System and boasts an impressive 80% graduation rate. In addition to high school education, the center provides support in the areas of health and wellness, life skills, career readiness and psychological counseling. The school also provides 100% subsidized high quality childcare with freshly prepared nutritious meals. In 2015 Florence Crittenton will finish construction on their new campus, which will include a new health center, bringing obstetrics and pediatrics on campus in partnership with Denver Health. In three years this center will open to the community and will be the first of it’s kind in the state of Colorado. Additionally, there will be a new gymnasium, and a new early learning center which will increase capacity from it’s current 66 children to 110.
The amazing support of our customers, our community of parents and child advocates have helped us succeed and enabled us to give back to organizations like FloCrit. We are proud to share with you that Florence Crittenton High School in Denver is one of the first recipients of Boba Cares. Boba Cares is our new community engagement project aimed at supporting valuable community programs that empower parents in challenging life situations.
We recently met with some of the staff of FloCrit Denver to coordinate a donation of Boba Carriers and babywearing training to the students and staff. Through this donation, we hope these women are empowered in a multitude of ways. Most importantly through the new connection with their child and also by easing the stress of their daily commute. We had a tour of the campus and childcare facilities, and were honored to meet the students and their children. The campus has a strong sense of comfort and safety; while the babies are tended to in the nursery, their mamas are just a few doors down in class. Each early learning center room is named after a different flower - we walked in to see the little rosebuds and were followed in by a young mom coming to visit her baby in between classes. The whole wing is filled to the brim with palpable love and compassion. Some of the most inspiring success stories come from the graduates that are now faculty and are continuing to pay it forward. At a recent assembly the girls were presented with a 4G Boba carrier and were trained on how to use it at each stage (infant through toddlerhood).
We are so happy to be a part of this important, life-changing project. To see these young women be given the opportunity to connect with their babies in ways they didn’t know was possible, was truly heart warming. It is only with your loyal support that we are able to engage in the community and give back in this way. You make Boba Cares possible. Thank you.
More about Florence Crittenton Services of Colorado
Florence Crittenton Services of Colorado is a nonprofit that educates, prepares and empowers teen moms to be productive members of the community. Using a comprehensive and evidenced-based approach, the agency offers a spectrum of wraparound services for the entire teen family, including academics, career guidance and parenting training for pregnant and parenting teen mothers at the Florence Crittenton High School; early childhood education for their infants and toddlers at the Qualistar-rated Early Learning Center; and counseling, education and parenting support for teen mothers and their family members through the Student & Family Support Services. Florence Crittenton Services helps create cycles of success for teen families! flocritco.org
All photos copyright - Florence Crittenton