In June 2012, 18 teen parents have joined their peers and walked across the stage to receive their high school diplomas. Despite facing poverty, homelessness, and other hardships, these young mothers have beaten the odds and are graduating thanks to the counseling, parenting education, and support they received at Crossroads High School in Concord.
First 5 Contra Costa has funded the Crossroads program for over a decade. With its $75,000 grant, Crossroads provides teen mothers with one-on-one and group counseling as well as parent education and support to help them care for their newborns and finish high school.
According to the National Association of State Boards of Education, teen parenthood is a leading cause of high school dropout among girls, but by providing comprehensive services, the Crossroads program is working to change that. Last year, the program served 79 teen parents. Ninety-five percent either graduated or stayed in school. Students have also reported that their parenting skills greatly improved after participating in the program.
One recent graduate, a 19-year-old mother of a two-year-old who only moved to the U.S. four years ago, is the recipient of a $1,000 scholarship from Comcast Leaders and Achievers and a $600 scholarship from Mt. Diablo Alternative Education Foundation. She plans to attend Diablo Valley College in the fall.