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Monday, June 25, 2012

Only 2% Make It - We Can Help

Amayah is a teen mom
headed off to college this fall

She came to the US five years ago, when she was about 12. She made her way through a new country, culture, school system, and more. Now she's headed off to Southern Illinois University in the fall, full of promise and expectations.

The American Dream: believing in yourself; overcoming expectations and obstacles; succeeding through hard work. Amayah is all that, and more.

Amayah is also a teen mom. She's nothing like the flashy and combative young moms we see on reality TV. She’s the real deal - the young woman who had a child at 16, kept on going to school, is graduating and is heading to college without missing a beat. She's got her future in clear focus, and she's got her baby's future in mind as well - a balancing act that many parents decades older than Amayah have not mastered.

Right now, though -- this is when it gets hard. Amayah has challenges to face as she heads off to college that the other young students won't be burdened by. She'll need to find housing suitable to a small family, child care, and time to cook for, read to, play with, and care for her child. She'll have to plan her course schedule and her study groups around her child's timetable and then there will be other things that crop up - a babysitter bailing, her child getting a fever, or the stroller refusing to open.

Amayah is asking the Benevolent community for help with one singular challenge: for help paying her housing deposit and getting her apartment set up for herself and her child. I hope we'll meet this challenge and step up for Amayah. More importantly, I hope we'll be able to jump back in future years if another big challenge pops up. Maybe create a community of support just for Amayah. 

On average, about half of all teen moms finish high school. Another 15% will get their GED by the time they're 22. Only two percent - 2% - of teen moms complete college by the time they're 30. Those are ridiculously long odds. 

Let's step up, step in and become a part of Amayah's story, and let's hang out there for a while to keep an eye on her success and be there when she needs us.

Who's in?

- megan kashner, founder & CEO

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