On Thursday, August 24, 2017, nearly 100 friends, family, students, and Child & Family Resources staff came together to honor the dedication and hard work of 12 of our teen parents in our Maricopa Center for Adolescent Parents (MCAP) program.
Congrats the MCAP Graduating Class of 2017
Alberto Vasquez, Jr.
Students at MCAP are all teen parents. Continuing their education at a traditional school is difficult; a regular school schedule is a challenge even without the responsibilities of parenting. At MCAP, students work on their high school equivalency and life-skills with the support of MCAP teachers. Their children are able to attend the on-site, quality childcare center! Parents can be close to their kids while continuing their education.
Mainly self-paced, the students may take a few months or a year to pass all of their exams, but no matter how long it takes, each parent puts in hours of learning and work–all for the sake of building a better future for themselves and their children!
“I’m so grateful for this program that gives other teen mothers and fathers like us hope for the future,” shared Melissa. “Thank you for not giving up on us, even when we wanted to give up.”
Held for the first-time ever at the lovely Changing Hands Bookstore in Phoenix, the graduation ceremony featured speakers including MCAP Program Director, Heidi Christensen, former Early Learning Center Director, Tabitha Fisher, Vice President of Family & Community Services, Julie Rosen, High School Equivalency Instructor, Jocelyn Dustan, and ASU interns, Sarah Moore, MSW and Marina Grocke.
A highlight of this year’s event was that our first teen father, Alberto Vasquez, Jr., was among the graduates. One by one they took to the podium and shared their thoughts on how MCAP had impacted them and what they envisioned for their future.
Former MCAP Director, Tabitha Fisher, addressed the graduates with a humorous and moving message about the lessons she’d learned from them. “I learned that if you are a perky, morning person and work with teenagers, they won’t like you.”
Fisher also shared some emotional words of wisdom. “You taught me that being a young parent doesn’t mean that your life is over, but that you get to love your kids a little bit longer.” She closed with a wonderful analogy, joking about the excessive use of glitter in the crafts that the students made.
“You taught me that there’s never too much glitter. After working with you, I kept finding glitter in little places, and it always made me smile because it made me think of you and how much you brighten my world. I want you all to remember that you too are like glitter, because whoever you meet in life, you’ll leave a little part of you with them.”
Thank you to all of our donors and friends who are glitter to the many children and families we help every day. We appreciate you!