GREENSBORO, N.C. — The overturning of Roe v. Wade is still being felt across the country as states figure out what this means for abortion services. As states continue to pass laws, many people are asking what resources are available for expecting mothers in need of help in the Triad.
Nineteen-year-old Tonya Davis loves being a mother to her 4-month-old girl. Early on in her pregnancy, she said she faced some challenges when it came to resources and support.
“For me, my parents live in Oklahoma, so it was kind of like having a family for me and a support system, a support system is probably one of the biggest things I believe is important throughout pregnancy even with raising a child," Davis said.
“Once I joined YWCA, I now had a support system,” Davis said. “I now had a way of getting resources I had no clue about, financially you know for food, housing. Also, just friends in general."
The Teen Parent Mentor Program was established in 1984 but has since evolved. Program Director Breanna Grant said participants benefit from positive encouragement through case managers and mentors who help teen mothers succeed in school.
“They may be in school, they may want to go back to school, their goals are endless,” Grant said. “So our goal is to allow them to see, yes you had a mistimed pregnancy, it may not be convenient for you right now, you may not be looking at the positive side, but your story doesn't end there and we're here to help you see that."
In addition to academic assistance, teen mothers are provided with doula support, clothes, diapers, and more.
“Through all those things they're able to put their focus somewhere else,” Grant said. “They may be thinking, their first thing is oh, I don't' have a car seat. Don't worry about that, we've got you. Let's focus on the other things that we can tackle right now."
Since joining the YWCA, Davis continues to excel. She's currently in her junior year at Winston-Salem State University with plans to achieve a doctorate degree in occupational therapy.
“The thing is we can do it,” Davis said. “We have enough resources to do it and the way you get it might be hard, but it's there so use it."
The YWCA Teen Parent Mentor Program is always looking for mentors and volunteers. The organization requires a one-year commitment for those looking to get involved.