Alyssa was an athlete from an early age and was heavily involved in theater at Naperville Central High School. She was dedicated to school and excited about what her future held. When Alyssa became pregnant with twins during her junior year, all of her plans changed. “I didn’t know what was going to happen,” said Alyssa. Alyssa’s family was supportive, but just as scared as she was.
Alyssa’s school social worker referred her to Teen Parent Connection, a Glen Ellyn based nonprofit and United Way partner. Through Teen Parent Connection, Alyssa received support from the staff who educated her on what to expect during pregnancy and childbirth as well as how to care for her newborn babies. The staff also helped Alyssa to understand that she was still in control of her future and that she had to have goals for herself.
After her twin boys were born, the Teen Parent Connection staff continued to support Alyssa. They arranged home visits to discuss progress with the babies as well as progress toward Alyssa’s educational and professional goals. With help from Teen Parent Connection, Alyssa was able to graduate from high school a year early and begin taking college classes.
Alyssa recently graduated with an Associate’s Degree and has been accepted into the School of Social Work at Aurora University. She also works on staff for Teen Parent Connection as a peer educator. She shares her story with high schools in the area and talks about how to prevent teen pregnancy and make healthy decisions. Alyssa credits her family and Teen Parent Connection with helping her to become a successful parent much sooner than she had planned.
In 2013, United Way invested $4 million in 58 agencies across the region that provide high quality health services to communities and people who will benefit from them the most. Alyssa’s story — and thousands more like it — changed because of people like you.
Through proven strategies and quality programs, United Way measurably improves lives for individuals, families and our region. Join us, and change the story for those in need in greater Chicago.