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Jennifer Cassidy, San Diego, CA

Dear Advocates for Adolescent Mothers:

I was in the middle of completing my college paper regarding advocacy this weekend when I came accross your website. The topic I chose was teenage mothers, as it is a topic I can relate to directly. I am a former teen mom and a single mom currently. Your site inspired me to share my story and let other young mothers know that IT CAN BE DONE!

Let me explain…I had my duaghter at the age of 19. I am now 34-years-old and my daughter is a teenager! Time truly flies by so quickly. But to go back in time…. When my daughter was born, I started off by living with my parents (I had just left my daughter’s father, as this was an abusive relationship). I was on welfare, with no support from my daughter’s father, and working in retail for minimum wage.

However, with assistance and support from programs out there like WIC, “mommy and me” classes, family, friends, and a lot of persistence and HARD WORK (and a driving force not to have my daughter go through the same struggles I had gone through)…I was eventually able to lay down a foundation and get on my feet.

I am now a successful Human Resources Manager for a growing biotech company in San Diego, CA. I have my HR Management Certification and I am finishing my Bachelor’s in Human Services Management this year. I am completely self-sufficient and better yet–my daughter is healthy, happy, actively involved in sports, and doing well in school: We both hold 3.5 GPA’s! 🙂

Again, IT CAN BE DONE.

Along the way, it has been a key focus of mine not to repeat the “teen mom” cycle with my daughter. Some of the things that have made a difference along the way: I talk with my daughter. We have open communication and we talk about sex and all that comes along with that. I also talk with her about college. Her going to college is not an option; it’s a given–If I can do it, she can do it. She has a clear view of having her whole life ahead of her and a bright future to strive towards. I instill self-confidence and self-esteem in her every day so that she knows she deserves nothing but THE VERY BEST life has to offer. I support her; I truly listen to her; and I show her unconditional love. These are the things our children and teens need!

Thank you for listening. I know the life of a mom, let alone a single mom and/or teen mom, is so fast-paced and full of things to do, places to be…it was nice to stop for a minute and reflect and share my story with you.