AT&T recently announced a $20,000 contribution to Way to Grow. Way to Grow will use the funds to support its DreamTracks program, which helps educate and prepare parents ages 15 – 21 for success by addressing parenting, motivational empowerment, academic engagement, career capability, and sexual health.
“DreamTracks participants learn about prenatal care, child care, parenting skills, life skills, and setting academic and career goals,” said Carolyn Smallwood, Executive Director for Way to Grow. “We’re grateful that a company such as AT&T supports our efforts and understands how important it is to help teen mothers and their children.”
The teen pregnancy rate in the United States is higher than in any other developed nation, with 34 percent of teenage girls becoming pregnant before the age of 20. Raising a child at such as young age can place a teenage mother under extreme emotional stress. Studies have shown that teen mothers are less likely to complete their education and are more likely to live in poverty. Agencies like Way to Grow exist to help teen mothers improve their economic conditions and quality of life.
“Parenthood is one of the leading reasons why teen girls drop out of school. Less than half of teen mothers graduate from high school and fewer than 2% earn a college degree by age 30,” said Smallwood.
“AT&T is proud to support the DreamTracks program and applauds Way to Grow for its leadership and tireless work around this important issue,” said Paul Weirtz, President, AT&T Minnesota. “Graduating from high school is a first step toward a lifetime of individual success. These funds will help young mothers graduate from high school and become better prepared for college and the workforce.”