Teen Mom to Single Parent to High School Graduate

Teen mom, Jessica graduates with high-school diploma
by SalvationArmy.ca

It’s a journey worth celebrating. This week, 19-year-old Jessica will receive her high-school diploma at The Salvation Army’s Grace Haven in Hamilton, Ont. “Thanks to The Salvation Army I’ve learned parenting skills and improved my education,” says Jessica. “I’m proud of how far I’ve come.”

When Jessica found out she was pregnant at age 18 she hadn’t completed high school, was homeless and sleeping on a friend’s couch.

“At home there was a lot of mental and verbal abuse, so I left at age 15,” says Jessica. “I moved around a lot―from a shelter to a friend’s home and then to another friend. Life was anything but stable.”

Learning she was pregnant was scary for Jessica. She was staying at a friend’s home and wondered where she would she would live or how she would care for the baby alone.

“Living at The Salvation Army changed my life,” says Jessica.

“I was so stressed out,” says Jessica. “But when I learned about Grace Haven and the supports they provide I had a sense of calm come over me.”

The Salvation Army’s Grace Haven provides young mothers who are pregnant or already parents with residential, educational, parenting and community supports.

“Living at The Salvation Army changed my life,” says Jessica. “My pregnancy was difficult and prenatal classes answered a lot of questions and concerns. Completing my high school education will provide better job opportunities and I’m returning in the fall to upgrade my English.

“The supports I receive through Grace Haven give me a sense of relief,” says Jessica. “I was never judged based on my situation but was loved, encouraged and cared for. Coming to Grace Haven was a great decision for me.”