Profiles in Progress: Strengthening Families

NBC 6 celebrates Black History month by highlighting people and programs which improve our community.
NBC 6 celebrates Black History month by highlighting people and programs which improve our community.  We introduce you to a woman helping to strenghthen family bonds, by supporting teen moms.  Meet Alberta Davis in this week's Profile in Progress.

Young mothers in the Teen Mom program cherish the two hours they together on Tuesday nights. It helps them get through long hours during the rest of the week. They must balance school, homework, and growing up... while caring for a growing child.

"You know at the age of 14 or 15, you're just a child raising a child," says Alberta Davis, Coordinator of the Teen Mom program at Christus Health Shreveport-Bossier.

The goal of the program is to help girls graduate from high school and avoid getting pregnant again until marriage.

"Although the stats say they won't complete high school, it doesn't mean they won't complete high school.  They can do it with help,” Davis says.

Each week experts teach lessons on topics like self-esteem, parenting, menu planning and budgeting. Volunteers pitch in with mentoring and childcare.  Girls enter the nearly year-round program when they become pregnant and stay until they graduate high school.

"It makes a difference when they know that they're not going through this alone, that they have somebody, some support, someone to help them," Davis adds.

Davis, who is a married mother of three grown children, moved from Radiology to Community Ministry about 15 years ago.  She wants to teach young women the lesson of perseverance that she learned as a child.

"I came from a single mom.  There were four children and she provided for all four of us herself and we all completed high school. We all completed college,” reflects Davis. "She was always there to support us.  She was always there to encourage us and say you can do it and we did it."

Davis gives back by giving teen moms that same encouragement.  The teens say the message is sinking in.

"If you stay strong and independent to what you believe in and the standards and goals you set for yourself and your child, everything will fall in place.  Just don't give up," says Kajerika Pouncy, Teen Mom member. 

Since Teen Mom began in 1998, more than 200 girls have participated in the program with more than 25% graduating from the program.  The girls have graduated high school with many going on to the military and college.  Among the successes are young women who have become chemists, biologists and physicians.
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