All Articles Tagged "generation hope"
According to MSNBC, less than two percent of girls who get pregnant before the age of 18 obtain a college degree before they turn 30 years old. But when Nicole Lynn Lewis became a pregnant teenager in 1998, she was determined to continue her education and raise her little girl. Two and a half months later her child was born and she began taking classes at William and Mary. Today, she holds a bachelor’s degree in English from the College of William & Mary as well as a master’s degree in Social Policy and Communication from George Mason University. After securing her degrees and working for nonprofits, Lewis has made it her mission to help other teenage mothers reach education success through her organization, Generation Hope.
Founded in 2010, Generation Hope provides mentorship and financial support to teen mothers who wish to attend college in the DC, Maryland and Virginia area. The program gives $1,200 a year to participants attending a two-year college and $2,400 to those attending four year schools.
Lewis chose her first class of seven teen girls from a pool of 12 applicants. Her first application was from a girl who had gotten pregnant at 12.
“And that was a huge shock for all of us,” she said to MSNBC. “It really brought home for me the need for our program. Because I can’t see telling a young woman who’s 12 years old that her life is now over.”
Jennifer Ramirez is one of Generation Hope’s current participants. Now 23, Ramirez got pregnant at 15 with her son Jordan. With the program’s help, Ramirez now has additional finances as well as the support of mentor Suzanne Simpson, a lawyer and president of Howard County’s women’s bar association in Maryland. Although initially nervous, the two have built a close bond and talk all the time; their children even play together. Later this month, Ramirez will become the first college graduate in her family and earn her college degree from the University of Maryland.
“Everything happens for a reason,” Ramirez said to MSNBC. ”So, take the good, and the bad, and make it great.”
More on Madame Noire!
- True Life: I Was Dating a Man With a Secret…
- Who Gon’ Check Me, Boo?: Annoying Things You Should Check Your Friends About
- It’s The Most Ratchet Time of the Year: The Ugliest Prom Dresses of All Time
- Wonder What It Was Like To Date A Young Obama? 2 Ex-Girlfriends Reveal All
- Don’t Play With Me: 6 Things You Don’t Joke About With Black Women
- When Dining Goes Bad: Family Locked In Restaurant When They Refuse To Tip
- Patience is a Virtue: An Open Letter To My Future Husband