GREENVILLE, Georgia — Meriwether County parent educator Erma Harden works in Twin Cedars Youth and Family Services’ Circle of Care program, an organization that provides support and resources for teen parents. In rural Georgia, Harden happily serves as a maternal mentor to young mother Kelisha Favors, 21.
With plans to graduate from college in 2018 and work as a social worker, Circle of Care has kept Favors motivated as she takes a full course load — that’s crucial considering fewer than 2 percent of teenage mothers graduate from college.
“I have thought about giving up plenty of times, and [Harden] taught me to be a better person and a better mother,” Favors said.
According to Harden, low self-esteem is the biggest obstacle young mothers face. “They think that people are looking down on them,” Harden said. “We always try to build them up and let them know that ‘just because you got pregnant doesn't mean it stops here. You still have those dreams.’”