Wings prevention program helps pregnant teen finish high school

Eight months pregnant and living with her godmother, teenager Nasia realized quickly that finishing high school while pregnant was going to be a challenge.

Prior to living with her godmother, Nasia was sent to live with her maternal grandmother due to her biological mother’s substance abuse. When her grandmother passed away, Nasia came to live with her godmother, and it was her godmother who referred Nasia to the Chicago-based Wings prevention program.

One Hope United Wings services help new parents adjust to the responsibilities of parenthood. Targeted for new and expecting parents, Wings promotes positive parent-child interaction while working to enhance family functioning, build trusting relationships and teach problem-solving skills. The purpose of this service is to prevent child abuse and neglect.

One Hope United Case Manager Naima Normand, a neighbor of Nasia and her godmother, was assigned to work with Nasia on her parenting skills.

“Nasia is an avid reader who took great pride in learning about her baby’s development and increasing her knowledge during our home visits,” said Normand. “She was aware of the baby’s cues and followed them appropriately.”

Normand reported that Nasia adequately utilized resources such as Teen Parent Services and Illinois Action for Children to assist her with transportation, cash and child care in order to complete school and work. In the Wings program, Nasia was focused on the goals she and her case manager developed on the Individual Family Support Plan. Nasia was adamant about graduating from high school, getting her child fully potty trained, obtaining a job and finally, getting accepted into a four-year college. Naisa kept in constant contact with her caseworker and was available for each home-visiting appointment.

In school, Nasia was a proven leader. She worked on a leadership committee in which she put together a proposal for a girl’s leadership group for her school. In this group, she helped host etiquette classes for her classmates as well as spearhead community projects.

She focused on her goals and with the help of her support system, case manager and the Wings program, Nasia graduated on time in June 2009 from Youth Connections Alternative School.

Nasia is now attending Philander Smith College in Little Rock, Arkansas, where she has obtained an off-campus apartment in order to ensure that she would be able to take her son Jarrett with her. She saved six months of rent from money she made through her after-school work and summer job working at IIT. Her next goal is to purchase a vehicle.

Please consider making a donation to the nonprofit prevention program, Wings, in honor of teens just like Nasia. Without generous donors like you, One Hope United would not be able to make a positive impact in your community. Donate Now — note Wings in the note section when donating online.

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