Sat | Sep 22, 2018

Grange congratulates adolescent parents for moving towards goals

Published:Wednesday | September 12, 2018 | 12:00 AMCarlene Davis/Gleaner Writer
Olivia Grange (right), minister of culture, gender, entertainment and sports, congratulates a student from the Women's Crisis Centre after she was given a scholarship from the Advancing Secondary, Tertiary, Remedial Education for Adolescent Mothers.

With adolescent mothers often dropping out of secondary school, 44 grants and scholarships were yesterday awarded to teenagers, at The Knutsford Court Hotel in St Andrew under the A-STREAM Programme.

A-STREAM is Advancing Secondary, Tertiary, Remedial Education for Adolescent Mothers.

Olivia 'Babsy' Grange, minister of culture, gender, entertainment and sport, spoke to the youth about the importance of grasping a second chance.

"I am pleased to see all these young ladies clad in uniforms. This signals the fact that they have embraced the second chance that they have been afforded to complete their secondary education. There is, in fact, an abundance of life after an early pregnancy," the minister told the 43 girls and one boy.

The programme was launched earlier this year by the Women's Centre of Jamaica Foundation in partnership with AIDS Healthcare Foundation. It primarily seeks to provide teenage parents with financial and mentorship support as they are reintegrated into the school system.

"At your tender age, balancing the roles of motherhood and student is challenging. I know that it will not be easy, but it is possible. Countless numbers of other adolescent mothers would have gone on ahead of you and would have completed their secondary education and matriculated for secondary-level studies," Grange said.

Thirty-nine adolescent mothers and one adolescent father received grants for high school valued at $40,000, while four scholarships went to mothers who are attending university valued at $140,000.

carlene.davis@gleanerjm.com