Teen Mom Conference Encourages Women to Continue Education - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Teen Mom Conference Encourages Women to Continue Education

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Teen pregnancy comes with unique challenges for mom, baby, and family. Saturday nonprofits throughout the area are encouraging young women to seek the help the need to continue to live successful lives.

According to the CDC, Tennessee is ranked in the top ten states with the highest teen pregnancy. Saturday, 22-6 INC. is teaming up with nonprofit agencies in our area to help teen moms with resources, birth control, and attending college.

For Cara Hicks it is a day to remember how far she has come. Eleven years ago, she was a teen mom, today she is a successful business woman.

“It is hard. Very hard, we don't glaze over the fact that it is very difficult,” said Hicks.

At the age of 19, Cara had her first boy while attending The University of Georgia.

“I know how difficult it can be the graduate. I was 19 when I had my first child and I was fortunate to have an incredible group of women who just came around me.”

She is now paying it forward to other teen moms. Her organization, The Mom-entum Network is way to empower single moms to achieve success through higher education.

“Once you are a teen mom it is absolutely not a death sentence and you do not have to choose between motherhood and success.”

The Mom-entum is just one of many different organizations at the teen mom conference Saturday. The founder of 22-6 INC. host the event to provide women with education about teen pregnancy.

“Teen moms effect every area of Chattanooga, when we are looking at the state of education when they enter the school system, when we look at the economic status of women in Chattanooga, when we're looking at juvenile delinquency rates, all of those are connected to teen moms,” said Melissa Brasell.

These women all understand the challenges of raising a child as a single mother, as a teen mother,  or both. But they all agree it doesn’t mean dreams cannot be reached.

“Just because you are a teen mother doesn't mean it is over. Doesn't mean you can't still achieve those goals you have set for yourself, the role may not look the same, but you can still take the path to the end result.”

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