Last week we reported on some great news about the credentials for the childcare facility that’s part of the service at Scavo Full Service High School. Teddy Bear Town earned the state’s top rating for a childcare center.
This week brings a related follow-up that speaks more to the human side of what goes on there than the bureaucratic side.
On Tuesday morning, a brief ceremony was squeezed into the ultra-busy days of the young parents who are also students at Scavo. Most of them are mothers, most of whom just observed their first Mother’s Day as honorees and are also about to achieve another new status – high school graduate. But there were also a couple of young fathers there in supportive roles.
The theme throughout the year at Teddy Bear Town has been We Are Superwomen. The student-moms there have learned to flex muscles they didn’t know they had. On their own behalves, yes, but out of determination to be strong role models for their children, and in support of one another, too.
Many of the seniors said a few words before the celebratory cake was cut and devoured.
“We get shamed a lot,” said Maleah Hall, cradling four-month-old Kaiden while she spoke. “But all of us are proud of our babies and our hard work.”
Next fall, Maleah heads to DMACC to continue her education in a program that culminates with a nursing degree from Grand View University.
The importance of the environment at Scavo cannot be overstated in these successes at overcoming daunting odds. Instead of judgment and recrimination, teen moms find encouragement AND real help. Teddy Bear Town doesn’t make staying in school easy for them, but it does make it possible.
Mya Bensley was there with her daughter Willow, age 16 months. She stood up to be counted.
“I’m 20 years old,” Mya said, her voice breaking. “I’ve dropped out three times. I’ll be the first of eight siblings to graduate.”
It’s hard to imagine a harder-won diploma, or one more worthy of admiration. Her mother’s is a brave example that Willow will be proud of.
Teenagers aren’t usually the stuff of comeback stories. But sometimes they write the best ones.