Teen Mom Profile: Brianna and Ximena
When Brianna first learned she was pregnant at age 16, she was struggling to attend school regularly. She relied on her older sister for transportation and too often found herself without a ride when her sister decided to ditch school.
When Brianna first learned she was pregnant at age 16, she was struggling to attend school regularly. She relied on her older sister for transportation and too often found herself without a ride when her sister decided to ditch school. Then Brianna got pregnant. At first, she didn’t know what to think. She recalls, “It was a really strange feeling. I was like, ‘What am I going to do with my life now?’” But when a security guard at Brianna’s high school told her about Florence Crittenton, Brianna toured the school and knew she had found her place. She enrolled in the fall of 2016 after giving birth to her baby girl, Ximena.
Brianna started attending school regularly together with her daughter. “I think it would have been way harder to be in a regular high school than to be here, because sometimes you don’t have anybody to watch your kid and sometimes you can’t go to school,” Brianna notes. Brianna highlights one of the most common reasons teen mothers fail to finish high school. Lack of childcare hinders teen mothers from attending school. Not only does lack of childcare prevent teen parents from continuing their education—it also denies vulnerable young children an equitable start in life. The Early Childhood Education Center provides Ximena with a high quality education that will ensure she is ready to start kindergarten. Brianna knows that Ximena is learning: “Sometimes I’ll take Ximena home and she’ll do something that she didn’t do before.” Both Brianna and Ximena are able to learn together. Florence Crittenton Services’ two-generation approach ensures that whole families get the support they need to be successful.
Through the Student and Family Support Program, which provides customized, trauma-informed wraparound services to teen mothers and their families, Brianna receives vital support to continue her education. Brianna appreciates the specialized curriculum offered at Florence Crittenton, including parenting classes that have improved her knowledge of child development as well as practical parenting skills. She is on track to graduate from high school in 2018. She has already been accepted to Red Rocks Community College, where she hopes to study science and one day become a botanist.
Brianna is an example of the success teen families create when they come to Florence Crittenton. Brianna has big dreams for herself as well as for Ximena: “I want her to be a good person. I hope she stays smart and I hope she trusts me.”