Teenage Mother Melody Struggles To Fit In With Her Peers
- August 16, 2018
- Posted by: UW User
- Category: Community Corner
“Melody” enrolled at Healy-Murphy Center (HMC) in March 2015. She moved to San Antonio from Georgia with her eight-month-old daughter, “Kasey,” to live with her father and his girlfriend. Melody had attended two different high schools in Georgia, earning credit to reach the eleventh grade, but also earning a lengthy list of discipline referrals and was out of school entirely for six months. She also spent time in foster care in Georgia, struggling with family conflicts while living with her mother.
When Melody and Kasey and the baby’s father moved in with her father and the woman who would become a “surrogate mother,” she was also three months pregnant with a second child. Her new “mom” put her to work at her place of employment and helped get her settled in school and her child in Healy-Murphy Child Development Center.
Melody and “mom” had a very compassionate relationship with clear rules about behavior and performance.
Very outgoing, Melody made friends in HMC quickly, and she was obviously a competent student. She also had support in developing a relationship with her own child in the required Parenting/Child Development class and working with the staff who were caring for the little girl. In class she was also learning about the developing child that was due soon.
There were social adjustment issues as Melody struggled to fit in with her peers: gossip, meddling, time out of class, and other teen issues. Melody would see HMC Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) on a regular basis. She had transportation but was not always at work on time. The same kind of issues colored her employment record. She completed the school year and worked in food service with her mom for the summer, returning with a promise to keep her mind on graduation in the coming year.
Melody delivered her baby prematurely, with serious health problems. The baby lived for 12 hours and Melody’s health was seriously compromised. When she was able to return to school, the LPC continued to work with Melody’s emotional recovery, her teachers encouraged her to complete requirements for graduation. Her case manager and other faculty encouraged her to focus on graduation and the future that could lie ahead.
Melody began to open up, to recognize the opportunities for her future and to see what she could work toward. In the remainder of the school year, she completed her high school requirements, applied and was accepted to the community college, applied for available scholarships and investigated possible areas of study.
Melody graduated with her class and was awarded the University of the Incarnate Word Scholarship, which pays for three years of study at UIW after she completes her first year at the community college district.
Spending time during the summer visiting her family in Georgia and elsewhere, Melody soon began classes at St. Philip’s College, with her daughter stilled enrolled at Healy-Murphy Child Development Center. She is in contact with UIW about her plan to major in psychology. Her father and stepmom are still supportive and she is in a work-study program to help support herself and her child.
Melody has overcome many obstacles and has a growing awareness of the challenges ahead. Proud of her accomplishments, she looks forward to greater strength and success in her future.
Healy-Murphy Center, a United Way partner agency, works to provide compassionate service to youth-in-crisis by focusing on individualized education in a non-traditional setting, early childhood development and essential support services.