Date: September 6th, 2016
By: Guest Blogger
Guest Blog Post by Brittany M. Stewart
Representative Susan Brooks of Indiana’s fifth congressional district paid a visit to North Central High School earlier this year to meet staff and participants from the Future Promises program, which supports youth who are pregnant or parenting. Since its founding in 1997, Future Promises has served over 500 participants, including young fathers. Rep. Brooks met with student participants to learn about their experiences as parents and how Future Promises helped them deal with the challenges of teen parenthood.
North Central High School student Zaira Araiza participated in the discussion and shared how her weekly meetings with case manager, Ja’Nette Johnson, has helped her through the process.
“The program as really helped me grow as a parent,” said Zaira. “It helps to have other people your age who are experiencing the same things. The program has also given me an emotional support system during the process of becoming a mother.”
Zaira also shared how the program has helped her further her education. She participated in the Future Promises’ spring college tour program and in the fall, she will become the first person in her family to attend college. She counts this, along with graduating from high school, as her greatest accomplishments and is proud to set a good example for her daughter.
Daniel Ruiz and Armando Garcia, two young Future Promises fathers, also shared their successes and challenges and how Future Promises helped them. Both fathers worked closely with Montoan Butler, who provided one-on-one support through the Dads Affirming Dads (D.A.D.) component of the program.
Moving forward, Future Promises hopes to continue to increase awareness of the program and to make an impact with pregnant and parenting teens across Central Indiana.
–Brittany M. Stewart is the Communications and Marketing Coordinator for the Future Promises Program at the Health & Hospital Corporation of Marion County