Broken Arrow Program Helps Teen Moms And Dads
BROKEN ARROW, Oklahoma - Broken Arrow school leaders are revamping a program that helped teenage moms finish their education. Funding cuts forced the Margaret Hudson program to close, but the district is looking for ways to keep the program alive.
Flor Mena was just 15 years old when she found out she was pregnant with her first son.
"It was devastating to my parents because I was the only one that they saw actually graduating high school; they thought it was basically over for me," Mena said.
But Mena's mother learned about the Margaret Hudson Program - which helped Flor graduate high school. She went on to graduate college 11 years later. Now she's married with 4 children and working as nursing assistant.
"If it wasn't for that program I don't think I'd be where I am now," she said.
Flor is one of Margaret Hudson's many success stories. That's why she's heartbroken the program lost its funding.
"Without this program what are they gonna do? They are not gonna have anything to fall back on. They are not gonna graduate, they are not going to basically have a future," said Flor Mena, a graduate of the Margaret Hudson Program.
Broken Arrow Schools Superintendent Dr. Janet Dunlop also recognized what's at stake.
In a statement she says: "It was obvious to us that this program was far too important to lose."
So with help from the community, the district created a new program called "Mentoring Healthy Parents." Like Margaret Hudson - it offers daycare, classes and opportunities for students to receive graduation credits.
And for the first time, the program is open to men.
"It's just good to know that it's something that teen moms can fall back on and also teen dads now," Mena said.