Good Samaritan’s Teen Parent Education Program is part of our Single Parent Program which provides support services to single parents. The Teen Parent Education Program is a high school education program for pregnant and/or parenting young women from the Greater Bangor region where teens ages 14-20 can earn their high school diploma.
Two years ago, a young woman named Mary came and met with me to enroll in the Teen Parent Education Program. At that time, Mary was 15 years old and pregnant. Mary lived with her mother and had attended a couple of area high schools in addition to being home schooled. Mary states, “Before I came to Good Samaritan I was a high school dropout. Not that I wasn’t smart, but I just couldn’t mentally and emotionally handle the regular school environment. I had social anxiety really bad. I couldn’t find the ambition to get out of bed, let alone go to a place I didn’t quite care for. Then I became pregnant, and everything changed after that. I heard about Good Samaritan and got a hold of them immediately. I knew that since I was going to be a mother I had to do the best I could for my little one. I had to graduate high school. When I first came to Good Samaritan to talk to Liz, one of the school’s social workers, I immediately felt comfortable.”
Mary was in our program for two years. There were several times when life outside of Good Samaritan would become very overwhelming and Mary would disappear for periods of time. We wondered if she would be one of our graduates. Mary and I had talked many times about what she needed to do to complete school. Mary made the decision that she wanted to finish in 2016. She started coming to school early each day and staying late each afternoon. She did this for weeks on end, proving to herself and to us that she was determined to finish. There was a tremendous look for pride on her face (and on mine) when she completed all of her work and was eligible to graduate.
Mary has applied to enter the Automotive program at EMCC. Currently, she is working full-time and busy parenting. I hope that Mary is able to fulfill her dream of being a mechanic. The goal of our program is to help young women, like Mary, earn their high school diploma. However, we also put a lot of effort into helping them “look” beyond high school. Whether it’s college applications, or job searching, we want our students to have goals and dreams beyond graduation and the skills and knowledge to reach those goals.