When Jess was a little girl, she dreamed of being a registered nurse, taking care of new mothers and babies in a maternity ward. But in Fall 2013, when Jess was just 16 years old, she became a mother herself. She stopped attending school and was on the brink of homelessness. At that point, it seemed like Jess’ dream would never come true.
And then, Jess moved into Project Home Indy.
As soon as she arrived, PHI staff began working with her to establish goals and develop plans to achieve them. One thing was clear—Jess must attend school to achieve her goals.
Only 38% of teen girls who have a child before age 18 get a high school diploma by age 22, according to the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy. And only about two-thirds of children born to teen mothers earn a high school diploma compared to 81 percent of children born to older mothers.
Because of Project Home Indy, Jess and her daughter will not become these statistics.
Education is necessary to achieving self-sufficiency, which is why education is one of the main pillars of Project Home Indy’s program. All PHI residents are required to attend high school or GED courses. If they already have their high school degree, we encourage them to apply to postsecondary education. PHI provides the tools needed to ensure residents’ success in school, including childcare, school supplies, transportation to and from school, and one-on-one, on-site, tutoring three evenings a week through School of Wheels. And we provide emotional support, calming a young mom’s worries about an upcoming math test and celebrating her achievements.
After participating in Project Home Indy’s program for a year, Jess attends school every day and is an active participant in her learning. Jess has turned Ds and Fs into As and Bs. She now understands that a good education will help her achieve her goals and provide a better life for her daughter. Next fall, she will be the first person in her family to graduate from high school. She plans to attend IUPUI after high school and finally realize her life-long dream of becoming a registered nurse.
When you donate to Project Home Indy, you support our educational programming, healthcare initiatives, and independent living skills training.
And you support moms like Jess, who have the power to succeed—if they have a supportive, safe, and stable home.