Teen Mom Beats Odds
This spring, Artisha McCraney joined hundreds of other Seattle teenagers when she graduated from high school. Artisha, age 17, is a little different than the typical high school student, however. She is the mother of two sons, Tre-Zjaun, who recently celebrated his first birthday, and Tre-Viawntae, 2½. “I graduated with honors and received two awards,” she says proudly.
Despite her parental responsibilities, Artisha was able to complete high school, thanks in part to a unique program at Southlake Alternative High School. The high school offers class credit for those who participate in the Teens as Parents program offered at the Rainier Beach Family Center, a program of Atlantic Street Center. Atlantic Street Center is a United Methodist national mission institution related to the General Board of Global Ministries.
“I heard about the program when Teresa Everett [program assistant/parent support specialist at the Rainier Beach Family Center] came to the teen parenting class at Southlake and told us about it.” Artisha joined the Teens as Parents program and soon found much more than just class credit. “I needed help with parenting skills and finding resources, and I needed someone to talk to,” she says. “I found all that and more.”
Today, not only does she have her high school diploma in hand, she has also earned her driver’s license, found a temporary, stable place to live, and is currently employed with the Seattle Youth Employment Program. “I am also a better parent,” she says.
Her future plans include finding permanent housing and enrolling in community college. “I would like to work with youth or in the medical field,” says Artisha. “I am not sure what I want to do, but I do know that I want to go back to school and further my education.”
With her determination, Artisha will no doubt accomplish this and more!
You can learn more about this institution and their programs at http://www.atlanticstreet.org.
Date posted: Nov 01, 2004