Great Things: Three Stories

Andrea Vasquez

Andrea joined Child & Family Resources' Youth Empowered for Success (YES) as a student in high school. She participated as an active member of the group, until she assumed a leadership role as a Youth Mentor, helping to lead her school and team members in community building projects. 

Now, she is actively pursuing a degree in social work at Arizona State University. Read ASU's article about her -- including the role YES played in her career decisions: Dreamer Proves Hard Work Pays Off. 

>> Learn more about YES

Kathy and Katia

Katia's birth took an unexpected turn -- already diagnosed with a heart murmur, Katia's heart beat slowed dangerously during delivery and doctors rushed Kathy into emergency C-section. Katia was born with facial palsy, a heart murmur, deafness, and  breathing challenges to due to issues with her trachea . It was nothing like what she and her husband had imagined, but Kathy says, "She was perfect for us." Katia was a feisty baby, showing a strong will to thrive, and she grew into a little girl who loved to dance, dress up, and put on makeup. 

Kathy and family joined Child & Family Resources' Healthy Families program, when Katia was a baby. Roxanne, their Family Support Specialist, was there to encourage them all to do well, and guide the family through normal stages of development. She even helped Kathy guide Katia through potty training. 

Kathy and Katia graduated from Healthy Families. Last year, Katia started school where she continues to shine. Healthy Families will always be a part of their experience. ""Roxanne is a friend," Kathy said, "I loved working with her."

>> Learn more about Healthy Families

Quality Early Care

We already know that one of the great barriers to employment is finding quality child care, but it's not as commonly acknowledged as a barrier to education, as well (although, there is some gaining acknowledgement of the issue). Yet, at Child & Family Resources, we know that one of the big reasons that young mothers fail to complete education is because of a lack of access to quality child care.

Child & Family Resources' Maricopa Center for Adolescent Parents (MCAP) has eliminated that barrier, providing a free, on-site, accredited, and four-star rated, on-site Early Learning Center. The Early Learning Center is directly across the hall from the classrooms, allowing mother the opportunity to check in on her child and participate in special projects or festivities, like Halloween! While mothers pursue their High School Equivalency, their children are getting a head start on their education, because highly skilled teachers are providing an environment that will lay a strong foundation for all of their future learning. 

>> Learn more about MCAP
>> Learn more about Quality Child Care

Tucson Teen Pregnancy Prevention Coalition Awarded $4.3 Million to Build Sex Education Programming in Sunnyside School District

With some of the highest teen birth rates and sexually transmitted infections in the United States, Arizona is facing a public health and educational crisis. Four local nonprofits—Teen Outreach Pregnancy Services, Planned Parenthood Arizona, Sunnyside Unified School District, and Child & Family Resources—mobilized as the Tucson Teen Pregnancy Prevention Coalition (TTPPC) to implement effective, evidence-based, medically accurate, responsible relationships and sexuality education to middle and high school students in the Sunnyside district.

“We are thrilled to be able to work with our partners at the TTPPC to finally be able to bring much needed sex education resources to the Sunnyside community,” said Daniel Hernandez, President of the Sunnyside School District Governing Board. “We hope that this success will lead to other districts following our lead to ensure that the students of Arizona have the information they need to make informed choices.”

This July, the US DHHS, Office of Adolescent Health awarded the coalition $4.3 million, over five years, to train Sunnyside staff, primarily health and science teachers, to teach abstinence-based sexuality education. By the spring of 2016, parents in the Sunnyside district will have the option of allowing their children to receive this important health information. The middle school Making a Difference and high school Reducing the Risk curricula are both evidence-based and age-appropriate curricula that encourage abstinence as a first choice while also providing information about methods of protection. Pregnant or parenting teens will be able to participate in a teen-parent focused program Be Proud, Be Responsible, Be Protective. By 2020, all programs will be self-sustaining within the district. The funding also supports an independent outcomes evaluation of the program by Tucson based LeCroy & Milligan Associates, Inc.

Over 100 studies have shown that high-quality sexuality education helps young people delay the initiation of sex, and use condoms and contraception when they do become sexually active. These are the very behaviors that are necessary to preventing pregnancy. In 2010, public spending on teen childbearing in the United States totaled an estimated $9.4 billion. Investments in effective teen pregnancy prevention programs are not only providing young people with the information and skills they need to make healthy decisions; they are also good for taxpayers.