Breaking the Silence
Welcome to the first edition of the 2014 AFAM Archive! It has been a few months since we published the last edition of The Archive: There’s so much that has happened that we are happy to share with you and we hope that you are happy to hear from us 🙂
Advocates for Adolescent Mothers turned 5-years-old in 2014. A vision that I had to establish a network of supportive housing for homeless young moms and their children at the age of 17, sprung forward as the nonprofit now known as Advocates for Adolescent Mothers, a bit more than a decade later in 2009. We hosted our first Board meeting in January 2009, in one of our founding Board member’s home. We established the organization’s Articles of Incorporation, Bylaws, and completed IRS form 1023. One month later on February 28, 2009, our package was ready to be mailed to the IRS. In August 2009, Advocates for Adolescent Mothers received the news that we were recognized by the IRS as a 501(c)(3), tax-exempt nonprofit. Not only were we a new nonprofit, we were preparing to address an age old issue–Poverty, as manifested by teen pregnancy, but in a bold and ingenious way.
We’ve learned a lot, and have grown into a savvy and resilient organization, gradually becoming more esteemed in the field of pregnant and parenting youth. Few of you have watched AFAM grow from a tiny mustard seed to the flourishing organization that we are now. We continue to blossom into the innovative social enterprise that will empower thousands of families headed by young parents to live healthy, productive, and prosperous lives.
For those of you who have been there from the beginning, and for those of you just joining us, and everyone in between, I invite you to click here to learn more about our journey and accomplishments over the past 5 years. You can also check out the photos of our growth shared below!
Photos of our growth
Back to School Celebration 2010-2011
Our Back to School Celebration was our first outreach and service event. The purpose of this event was to provide young parents with encouragement, a token of love, and address the barriers that inhibited them from returning to school.
At this event we provided young parents with backpacks that contained school supplies and toiletries, offered snacks and a meal, entertainment, and resources from community agencies and companies that such as Illinois Action for Children (subsidized child care services), Waddell and Reed, Harmony Health Plan, and Harris Bank.
We have provided backpacks and school supplies to approximately 200 youth from 2010-2012.
|Alderman Fioretti of Chicago’s 2nd Ward, at our 1st Back to School Celebration 2010.||Our Founder with Alderman Cochran of Chicago’s 20th Ward and Rev. Jenkins at the 2011 Back to School Celebration.||Volunteers distributed backpacks to young parents in 2010.||Youth pose after performing at the 2011 Back to School Celebration.|
Educational Empowerment Program 2011-Present
Educational Empowerment Winners 2012.
Advocates for Adolescent Mothers Educational Empowerment Program was created to address poverty as manifested by teen pregnancy and parenting. Through this program, we provide financial and socio-emotional support to young moms who are in college. Specifically, Educational Empowerment Program participants earn a discretionary monetary grant of up to $500 per academic year.
They also participate in workshops throughout the academic year where they learn more about successfully managing the roles of mother, worker, and college student. Our program participants maintain enrollment at an accredited college or university and a GPA of 2.0 or higher. Through this program, we will increase the number of young mothers who graduate from college–Statistics show that less than 2% of teen moms graduate from college before the age of 30.
|A participant engaged in discussion at one of our recent workshops.||Participants engaged in an activity at one of our recent workshops.|
We have already awarded $1250 to young mom college students since 2011, through the generous support of private donors. We also began to receive financial support for this program from the Open Meadows Foundation in 2014.
Holiday Drive Program 2011-Present
|A young mom & her baby accept a gift from AFAM in 2011.||A young mom & her baby receive a gift from our Founder, dressed as Santa in 2012.|
Advocates for Adolescent Mothers was created with the intent of providing supportive housing to homeless young mothers and their children. We wanted to provide some level of support to homeless young moms and their children since we are not yet able to provide them with supportive housing.
Through our Holiday Drive program we collect and distribute toys and outerwear to homeless young moms and their children for Christmas. We operate a collection drive October – December. Our Holiday Drive culminates with a festive gathering known as our Holiday Social. Then the following week, we host a Holiday Party for the young moms and their children, where they receive their gifts.
Showing appreciation for Christmas gifts in 2013.
We have distributed approximately 600 toys and 300 coats to homeless young moms, their children, and other underprivileged youth since 2011.
We have hosted numerous creative and fun events since 2010. We are an organization that believes in keeping the “social” in social work. Our events also provide us with a primary source of revenue to support our antipoverty mission. Our guests are always well pleased with their experiences at our events. Be sure to join us at an event this year and see for yourself!
|Beach Volleyball, 2011||Pop-A-Shot Tournament 2011||Holiday Social 2011|
|Bowling Against Poverty 2012||Summer Skylight Luncheon at the Signature Room 2012||Holiday Social 2012|
|The TakeOver On The River 2013||Holiday Social 2013|
These photos represent just a few of the events that we’ve hosted over the past 5 years. Follow us on social media to see more photos and receive weekly updates from AFAM!
Share your regards, congratulations, and well wishes with us on Twitter and Instagram using #AFAMis5! Or post a message on our Facebook page!
Chicago’s Action Plan for Healthy Adolescents
In February, the Chicago Department of Public Health unveiled Chicago’s Action Plan for Healthy Adolescents, which will guide city-wide efforts to improve the health and well-being of Chicago’s adolescents. The plan identifies 40 measurable health targets for the City to achieve by 2020, as well as 65 strategies that will be implemented by CDPH and its partners to meet the ambitious targets. The plan was developed through a collaborative process that included input from more than 50 health, policy and education experts, including Advocates for Adolescent Mothers. We are very happy to advocate for youth on a city-wide platform through our involvement with the development of this plan.
Learn more about Chicago’s Action Plan for Healthy Adolescents here.
Summer Jobs for Teen Moms
Young moms age 16-20 have the opportunity to obtain summer employment this year as a literary coach, providing them experience in early childhood.
There are only 2 days remaining to pick up and drop off the application, which is due on April 17, 2014
Applications can be picked up weekdays from 3-6 p.m. at 1640 W. Roosevelt.
Applicants must pick up and drop off the applications themselves.For more details call (312) 413-7403.
AFAM 5 YEAR CINCO DE MAYO CELEBRATION
We’re celebrating our 5th year anniversary Cinco de Mayo style!
Our 5th Year Cinco de Mayo Celebration will be lots of fun with great perks including:
FREE NACHO BAR*
BOTTOMLESS BEER, MARGARITAS, SANGRIA, & SODA!*
In addition to the nacho bar and drinks, guests will enjoy entertainment, party favors, prizes, and raffles. One of the items being raffled will include a free happy hour event for 20 people, a $350 value!
Add this event to your calendar and come join us in celebrating this magnificent milestone.
Save $5 off of the regular ticket price by purchasing advanced tickets before April 19th.
Learn full details and purchase tickets at http://bit.ly/AFAMis5.
Looking forward to celebrating with you!
Memorial Day Weekend Bike Ride on Lakeshore Drive
Bike along the full North/South stretch of scenic Lakeshore Drive without the interruption of cars. Bike the Drive is an awesome experience allowing individuals to cycle along one of the nation’s most gorgeous highways on Memorial Day weekend. Lakeshore Drive is closed to cars and cyclists can ride at their own pace for as long or as short of a distance as they would like.
Our Bike the Drive Break the Cycle team members receive a 10% registration discount. We ask our team members to make a commitment to raising $150 for our organization.
Learn more about Bike the Drive and register at www.bikethedrive.org.
The deadline to join our team is May 4th.
Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions.
Thank you for your continued readership of AFAM’s email newsletter, The Archive. Please feel free to reply with any comments or questions. Have a great weekend and I hope to see you soon! 🙂
Founder and President
Advocates for Adolescent Mothers