Friday, January 28, 2022

Play

The Indiana House passes a controversial bill barring schools from teaching about Critical Race Theory; and President Biden pledges to place a Black woman on the Supreme Court for the first time.

Play

Justice Stephen Breyer formally announces his retirement; the Dept. of Education will help students who fell behind during the pandemic; and AZ lawmakers consider a bill granting them control over elections.

Play

Free COVID tests by mail but some rural Americans need to go the extra mile; farmer storytellers join national campaign to battle corporate consolidation; specialty nurses want more authority; and rare bat gets credit for the mythic margarita.

New Council Gives Michigan Young Parents a Voice

Play

Monday, January 11, 2021   

LANSING, Mich. -- The voices of expectant and parenting youths are being amplified by the first-ever Michigan Young Parent Advisory Council.

Diamond Weakley is among the 13 teens on the council, which is based in Saginaw. She said the group is reducing the stigma and isolation she's experienced as a young parent.

"A lot of families don't support youths having children before graduating. So it makes us feel better about becoming young parents and keeping our kids instead of listening to everybody about how hard parenting may be," Weakley said.

Council Facilitator Robert Clark, a case manager at Saginaw Intermediate School District, said one of their first projects was to raise awareness about the lack of spaces where parents can change a baby's diaper in women's and men's public restrooms.

"So their next objective is to let these companies know why it's important to have a baby changing station in their restaurant or facility," Clark said.

The program is supported by the Michigan Organization on Adolescent Sexual Health through funding from the National Institute for Reproductive Health. Council members are compensated for their time and efforts, including child care during meetings.

Clark said it's important to support and empower young parents as they work toward their goals, and to ensure they feel respected.

"And let them know it's OK to ask for help and they are heard when they do need anything," he said. "Because they are young parents, they feel like a lot of older adults talk down at them instead of talking with them on their level."

Teen mothers and fathers are at higher risk of dropping out of school and living in poverty, and have higher incidences of repeat births. Weakley agreed being a young parent is hard, but said her daughter is worth it.

"When I look at her and I see her smile, it just makes me want to live better," Weakley said. "Honestly, without my daughter, I don't think I would have graduated high school. I try to do everything that I want to see her do in her future so that she can say, 'Well, my mom did it, so I can do it.'"

Research shows when young parents are supported, they are better able to finish high school, pursue higher-level education and find employment.


get more stories like this via email

Solar energy would have been used to replace carbon-based power sources under Arizona's proposed clean-energy plan. (andreiorlov/Adobe Stock)

Environment

Frustrated environmental and clean-energy advocates say after four long years of debate and compromise, regulators sent Arizona back to the starting …


Social Issues

When North Dakotans head out to cast their ballots later this year, there is a chance some will do so in a voting center and not a designated …

Social Issues

South Dakota continues to grapple with its low ranking when it comes to paying schoolteachers, but the issue is getting focus in 2022, including a …


Older Washingtonians take more prescription drugs on average and so are disproportionately affected by rising drug costs. (kmiragaya/Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

Washington state lawmakers are considering a measure to limit the growing cost of prescription drugs. Senate Bill 5532 would establish a …

Environment

The Maryland Air National Guard is considering a proposal to establish airspace where military planes would fly as low as 100 feet over the Pennsylvan…

The new grants are via the 2019 Rebuild Illinois capital program, which also calls for $25 billion to repair roads and bridges. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

The state of Illinois is allocating nearly a quarter-billion dollars to support new downstate transit and ports projects. Roughly half will go …

Health and Wellness

Advocates and faith groups are calling for more investments in harm reduction across the state, as new provisional data shows overdose deaths have …

Social Issues

More than 300 Kentucky farmers participated in the state's Farms to Food Banks program last year, and at a recent virtual rally, state officials said …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021