I was nineteen and a single parent when I gave birth to my beautiful son.

I was nineteen and a single parent when I gave birth to my beautiful son. Being a single parent has been very challenging and at times difficult to manage. I have had to maintain a job, and work whatever hours I can in order to provide the daily needs for my son. I am in the process of obtaining my GED in order to further my education in the hopes of being able to provide even more for Antonio. If it were not for my family, my friends and my Home Visitor, Mary, with the Help Me Grow Brighter Futures program, I do not think Antonio would be where he is today developmentally and emotionally. I would not be the parent that I have grown to be.

I made a self-referral to Help Me Grow Brighter Futures after hearing about how supportive the program is to first time moms. Antonio was six weeks old. During each weekly home visit, we would review the Parents as Teachers curriculum and discuss what strategies and activities I could incorporate in my daily routines with Antonio to help him reach his developmental milestones.

There is so much that Antonio and I have learned through our visits with Help Me Grow Brighter Futures. I am very appreciative that there is a program that focuses on my strengths as a parent; on the positives that I am doing with Antonio; and that helped me to see that I am Antonio’s best teacher. Each home visit gave me the chance to see that every encounter with Antonio can be a learning opportunity and that learning for both Antonio and I will be a life-long process. I believe that Antonio was being positively prepared for preschool when he turned three, which will also help him when he starts kindergarten, through our participation in the Help Me Grow Brighter Futures program. At each home visit I was provided the opportunity to not only address Antonio’s needs, but also my own. During the initial visits, I frequently was unable to say what it was I was thinking or feeling surrounding being a young mother. I have been linked to needed community resources that have helped to relieve the stress surrounding being a single parent. My Home Visitor encouraged me to be an active advocate in Antonio’s care with providers throughout the community.

Today, Antonio is saying over 100+ words; he is putting 2-3 word sentences together; he engages in play with others positively; and enjoys being read too. I am so proud of both myself and Antonio and look forward to watching him continue to grow!