Journey to Triumph: How a Teen Mom Found Success Through the Journey Program

Allison Grady and her family

Allison Grady participated in Maine Children’s Home’s young parent program, Journey Program, from August 2014 to June of 2017. In a recent interview, Allison shared her experience in the program and what it has meant to her:

When I discovered I was pregnant, dropping out of high school seemed like the logical choice. It broke my grandmother’s heart to think I might never graduate, so she insisted I find an alternative. She ended up doing some research and found Journey Program at Maine Children’s Home. So, in the summer of 2014, I toured the program and signed up.

Starting in August 2014, pregnant with my son, Kadin, who arrived in October, life became a juggling act of school, sports, and parenting. The program became a consistent support in my life.

The staff treated me and other parents in the program like adults from the get-go, understanding the weight of our responsibilities. There was no coddling; we had to mature quickly, and I needed their straightforward approach and transparency.

Parenting class was tough; it felt relentless to parent at home and then learn about parenting during the day. But the lessons on the Period of PURPLE crying, illness management, and navigating relationships were invaluable.

Whenever I faced challenges, the program coordinators were there, assisting with everything from finding health insurance and dental care to signing up for WIC support. Their support was steady and constant. I honestly trusted them more than most other adults in my life.

Without the program, my life would have taken a completely different path. Everything would be different. I owe my high school diploma, subsequent opportunities, and even my friendships to the program and guidance from the coordinators. They helped me with literally every obstacle, ever. I don’t think I would have been a good person in society if it wasn’t for their support.

I’ve always been resilient, having had a tough-love upbringing. But the stability and support provided by the program were crucial, especially as a young mother and someone who didn’t always have steady places to be. It was so reassuring to always have the program there.

Journey Program shaped me into the person I am today. Without it, I doubt I’d be as successful or well-adjusted as an individual, partner, and a parent

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