Teen Moms Need to Expect Better

Close-up of pregnant young woman in white tank top touching her belly
Close-up of pregnant young woman in white tank top touching her belly

She steps into her bathroom with a small box hidden under her shirt. She bought it secretly during a trip to the grocery store with her mom.

She opens the box, reads the instructions in a daze and three minutes later, she learns that her life will change forever. She's two months pregnant and barely a senior in high school.

Statistics in the U.S. say that she only has a 38 percent chance of finishing high school by age 22.

Studies also show that she is more likely to live off of public assistance programs like welfare, she has a higher probability of being in an abusive relationship and her child has a higher probability of being abused, being a dropout and becoming a teen parent themselves.

That 17-year-old high school senior was me.

I missed my senior trip because I was too far along to make the bus trip to Dallas, Texas from little ole' Decatur, Arkansas. I had to have a prom dress custom made to accommodate my bulging belly and I walked across the stage to accept my diploma with my class sporting a seven-month bump (which was more like a mountain than a bump) under my graduation gown.

Thankfully, I had the support of my family and my friends and that's why I am who I am today. So many girls don't have that support. Too many come from bad situations that turn worse with the onset of an unexpected pregnancy.

While the rate of pregnancies is going down steadily each year due to education and awareness programs, for those who do get pregnant, there are still so many obstacles in the way of them becoming something beyond what statistics say they will.

Money is scarce, babysitters are few (if any) and traditional education just isn't conducive to life with an infant, especially for a scared young woman who barely knows who she is.

We have got to empower, educate and support these young women and their kids. We must show them that there is a way and that people do care and are willing to help.

That's why the organization Expecting Better Academy was conceived. Expecting Better will teach these young women business skills for entrepreneurship in an online platform. Multiple experts and teachers, that can be accessed, from anywhere in the world, will be available to share their knowledge at the click of a mouse.

The organization will also provide success stories and inspiration from former teen moms in business, as well as mentorship, virtual group study halls for support, community and collaboration.

The impact will be life changing for thousands of young mothers around the world, who will learn business skills like marketing, social media, branding, sales, money management, website creation, copywriting and so much more.

They will also have access to non-business courses in parenting, mindset, healthy relationships and healthy living so that they are given the best chance for success in every area of their lives.

Expecting Better is applying for their non profit status and is planning on opening their virtual doors for their first academy members in the Spring of 2016.

If you would like to support the work of this organization to empower young mothers and their children, please visit the Indiegogo campaign http://igg.me/at/expectingmore/x/1856258

** The author of this post is the founder of Expecting Better Academy. Any donations given to the organization are managed and allocated, for the organization only, at her discretion **